In The News

In The News

Monday, February 17, 2014

State's Breath Alcohol "Expert" is Prohibited from Testifying About Dubious "Study" of the Datamaster DMT

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols, Drunk-Driving

 A judge in Grand Rapids became the latest judge to rule that the sergeant in charge of the Michigan State Police breath alcohol program may not testify at trial about a 2011 study about the Datamaster DMT. The study was conducted by 2 PhD toxicologists, who worked for the state of Michigan for the purpose of persuading juries that the DMT is a scientifically-reliable, nearly infallible device.

Michigan DUI attorney Mike Nichols of East Lansing was co-counsel for the accused citizen in the case. "This ruling marks the latest judge to tell the state that they cannot use a dubious study to try to bolster evidence impermissibly," says Nichols. Nichols was also on the defense team that fought successfully to vacate the conviction of a Michigan man after a trial in which the jury convicted following testimony from Sgt. Perry Curtis. Sgt. Curtis was allowed to testify that the study demonstrated that various 'DUI defenses' are not valid.

"There are many problems with the study and I wrote a response recently because this persuasion under the guise of science should not go unchecked," Nichols said. "We now have 3 judges who shut down the state from using this study," Nichols added. "It is the right thing to do - for 1 thing Sgt. Curtis did nothing to analyze the data and for another thing we have absolutely no transparency about the study's protocols or how the subjects were chosen - just to name a few issues."

Nichols is an adjunct professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Cases, Author of the OWI Practice Book for Michigan lawyers and a leader in defending those charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. mnichols@nicholslaw.net or 517.432.9000.

 

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.