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So far Michael Romano has created 41 blog entries.

Portland Timbers Players Arrested for DUI

Two Portland Timbers players were arrested for DUI in Clackamas County on Monday October 24th, 2016. Liam Ridgewell (on left in photo) is the team's captain, 32 years old, and from England. Jake Gleeson (on right in photo) is the team's goalkeeper, 26 years old, and from New Zealand. The story was first reported on KATU and then picked up by OregonLive. Portland Timbers DUI Details It appears that Jake Gleeson's BMW reported the crash electronically to local law enforcement by means of the BMW Accident Management System after his airbag deployed. Officers from the Lake Oswego Police Department responded at around 10:30 p.m. to the intersection of Pilkington Road and Willow Lane, and found that Gleeson's vehicle had been rear-ended by another vehicle driven by Makenzie Varaniclapp. She was apparently contacted later, found to be uninjured, and was not cited for DUI herself. Prior to police arrival, Gleeson had called Ridgewell to assist, and both were found to be under the influence of intoxicants. Both Players Failed the DUI Sobriety Tests From preliminary reports, it appears both players agreed to voluntary field sobriety tests. They had a right to decline the tests, and they should have (see our page, "Should I refuse DUI tests in Oregon?"). Oregon uses three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (abbreviated as SFSTs) and they are considered to be a search (similar to a police officer searching your pockets, purse, car, or even your house). You have a right to decline the SFSTs tests, and you typically should. The tests are nearly impossible to perform without error-- even if you haven't had a drop of alcohol to drink. Both Players Refused the DUI Breath Test It appears that both players declined a breath test after their arrest. DUI breath tests in Oregon are conducted with the Intoxilyzer 8000 and a refusal to [...]

By | 2016-12-28T12:49:03+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Portland Timbers Players Arrested for DUI

Forensic Felons: Criminals in the Oregon Crime Labs

Nika Elise Larsen, a forensic scientist and crime scene investigator for Oregon State Police Crime Lab, faced a federal court on Aug. 15, 2016. Larsen pled guilty to tampering with evidence and theft of Schedule II type drugs through direct access to evidence in lockers while working out of Bend and Pendleton Oregon Crime Labs since 2008. Sentencing will commence on Dec. 12, 2016. The prosecution and the defense are recommending a three-year prison sentence. Due to Larsen’s tampering, around 1,500 cases are being reviewed by John Hummel, District Attorney for Deschutes County, Oregon, and by several Deputy District Attorneys. Reportedly, Larsen’s mishandling and tampering of evidence occurred with her own cases and those which she might have accessed in her eight years of employment at OSP. This case is one of several which have cropped up in the last eleven years through mismanagement and lack of oversight at OSP Crime Labs. Jeff Dovci allegedly overstated evidence in a 2005 criminal trial before he retired from the Central Point Oregon Crime Lab in 2013. He is now a private forensic consultant. OSP did an internal investigation and John Hummel found that Dovci had, “overstated scientific findings and minimized things that could have hurt the state’s case.” After reviewing the two cases that came into question, Hummel found that the convictions in question still stood on solid ground. A previous OSP forensic scientist, Kristopher Kyes, missed drugs and other substances in urine he tested at the Clackamas Oregon Crime Lab, which led to a review of 120 cases, 10 of which had potential discrepancies. This led investigators to reevaluate those 10 cases. The troubling trend of misconduct continues with OSP evidence technician, John D. Parrish, who was indicted on June [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:25+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Forensic Felons: Criminals in the Oregon Crime Labs

Marijuana Breathalyzer and Oregon DUI cases

The marijuana breathalyzer is a device designed to work much like an alcohol breathalyzer. In theory, the test subject blows into the device. The device then reports whether or not the test subject is under the influence of marijuana. However, the current devices cannot measure impairment. They can only estimate the level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol; the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) on a test subject's breath.   Image from Hound Labs used under Fair Use doctrine. Hound Labs Marijuana Breathalyzer Hound Labs Inc. is an Oakland-based company that has introduced a hand-held portable device that measures the presence of THC in breath. The device is intended to be used roadside by law enforcement. The device requires two breath samples from the test subject (much like Oregon's Intoxilyzer 8000). The Hound Labs breathalyzer was developed in partnership with scientists at the University of California, Berkeley and it was designed to detect impairment from any recent THC consumption (smoking, vaping, or edibles). The company boasts that it's the first company to create a device capable of detecting and measuring THC in breath. They further claim that the device can accurately measure levels to below 500 picograms. The problem with this sort of claim is that it has absolutely nothing to do with whether someone is mentally or physically impaired because people will be affected differently by THC and the level of expelled THC from test subjects will also vary wildly. Image from Cannabix Technologies used under Fair Use doctrine. Cannabix Technologies Marijuana Breathalyzer Cannabix Technologies Inc. is a Vancouver, B.C. based company that has also developed a marijuana breathalyzer. Cannabix claims that the use of FAIMS (high-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) can detect trace amounts of THC. However, as of the writing [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:25+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Marijuana Breathalyzer and Oregon DUI cases

New Location for Portland DMV Hearings

Governor Kate Brown's office announced on Friday August 19, 2016 that-- effective Tuesday September 6, 2016-- Portland DMV hearings resulting from arrests by the following agencies will be held primarily out of the Office of Administrative Hearings’ Division Street office: Portland Police Bureau (PPB)* West Linn Police Department* Canby Police Department Molalla Police Department The address for the Office of Administrative Hearings’ (OAH's) Division Street office is: 9226 SE Division Street Suite E Portland, OR 97266 *Note that some Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and West Linn Police Department overflow hearings may still be held in the Tualatin office.

By | 2016-08-19T12:49:46+00:00 August 19th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Location for Portland DMV Hearings

Can I record the police in Oregon?

With the widespread use of cell phones and digital cameras, many people want to know, "Can I record the police in Oregon?" Generally, the answer is "yes," but there are some considerations if you intend to record police officers. Can I video-record a police officers? Yes. Oregon law does not prohibit the video recording of anyone on public property if they do not have a reasonable expectation of personal privacy. There are exceptions that prohibit recording of nudity and sexual activity (see ORS 163.701 "Invasion of personal privacy in the first degree" and ORS 163.700 "Invasion of personal privacy in the second degree"). Can I audio-record police officers? Yes, but Oregon law required that the person being audio-recorded be notified. They do not need to consent. See ORS 165.540 "Obtaining contents of communications." Can I record the police officer when pulled over for a traffic stop? Yes, but you must notify them if you intend to audio-record. Also, see the other considerations below. Can I record the police officer during protests? Yes, but you must notify them if you intend to audio-record. Also, see the other considerations below. Can I record the police officer during other encounters? Yes, but you may also choose to simply walk away. Law enforcement can only detain you if you are suspected of committing a violation of law or a crime. If for some reason you choose to converse with the officer rather than leave the scene, you must notify the officer if you begin audio-recording. Also, see the other considerations below. Other Considerations when Recording the Police in Oregon As a citizen of the United States and Oregon, you have constitutional and statutory rights to take photographs, video-record, and audio-record anything in public (except as provided in ORS [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 August 17th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Should I Refuse DUI Tests in Oregon?

Can you refuse Field Sobriety Tests? Field Sobriety Tests in Oregon are considered a search, and you can decline or refuse a search in Oregon. However, your refusal may be used against you in some circumstances. Should I refuse a Field Sobriety Tests? In most cases, yes. This is a complex area of DUI and search and seizure law, but in most cases, a police officer requesting Field Sobriety Tests has already made their mind up. You're going to be arrested for DUI, and therefore they are only gathering more incriminating evidence of the crime of DUI with the FSTs. The FSTs are very difficult tests to perform without error, and anything you do incorrectly or poorly will be used against you to suggest you were drunk. Can you refuse a breathalyzer test? Do I have a right to refuse a breathalyzer test? Yes. Should I take the breathalyzer test? This is a complex area of DUI criminal and administrative law. If at all possible, you should speak with an attorney before refusing a breath test after a DUI arrest. However, if an attorney is not available, the most conservative thing to do is to take the breath test. If you have never had a DUI before, if you do not have a Commercial Driver's License, and if you are otherwise eligible for Oregon's DUI Diversion Program, the criminal charge of DUI will ultimately be eligible for dismissal. Therefore, the BAC reading of your breath test is not terribly important for a first DUI. However, if you have a prior DUI, a CDL, or are otherwise ineligible for diversion, you may want to decline the breath test, limit the government's evidence against you, and preserve any rights you have to challenge [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 August 11th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Should I Refuse DUI Tests in Oregon?

If your body could be a brewery, would that be a blessing or a curse?

Imagine not needing to buy alcohol or even needing to drink alcohol in order to get drunk. Further imagine that your own body was a brewery capable of producing alcohol internally. In the words of Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, “What would you do with all that power?” Auto-brewery syndrome (gut fermentation syndrome) is an unusual medical condition in which potentially intoxicating quantities of alcohol (ethanol) are produced through endogenous fermentation within the digestive system (aka “gut”) by a yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae or a diploid fungus, yeast, and filamentous cells called Candida albicans. While the condition sounds to some like a joke or an excuse for DUI, auto-brewery syndrome is a very real — albeit rare — medical phenomenon. Because the yeast thrives on sugar and carbohydrates, treatment for the disorder typically consists of use of antifungal drugs and a low-sugar and low-carbohydrate diet. However, if a person doesn’t know they have this condition, they may not take steps to address it. Auto-brewery Syndrome in the Media In early 2014, The Mad Science Blog published a blog post that efficiently summarized the science of auto-brewery syndrome. Later in 2014, ABC News’ “20/20” ran a story titled, “Drunk Without Alcohol: Strange Condition Ferments Food in Gut” on auto-brewery syndrome. and BuzzFeed reported on the phenomenon in 2015, and Bustle also reported on it in early 2016. Most media reports on auto-brewery syndrome focus on the novelty and received humor of the medical condition, and the legal defenses it presents (or appears to present). However, for people who actually suffer from the condition, it’s anything but humorous. It’s alarming, frustrating, anxiety-causing, and dangerous. It can also lead to very expensive medical and legal problems. Is auto-brewery syndrome a [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 August 5th, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|0 Comments


Photo from Twitter. No rights to image claimed. Used under the "Fair Use" doctrine. Have you tried the new bright-orange Nike BIKETOWN bicycles in downtown Portland? My fiance and I rented two bikes on Thursday July 21, 2016, and here's what we thought about the BIKETOWN bike share program: BIKETOWN PDX Pros Both the bikes and racks are easy to find, with their bright-orange color. The bikes are easy for pedestrians and drivers to see, with their bright-orange color. The bikes are nimble and have excellent steering. The bikes come with seven speeds, front and rear brakes, an integrated locking system, and even a bell built-in to the left grip. The bikes are shaft-driven and do not use chains. This is a "pro" and a "con." The "pro" is that you won't get chain oil marks on your favorite pants. BIKETOWN PDX Cons You'll either love or hate the bright-orange corals. I think this will largely depend on whether you're a user of the service trying to find a bike, or someone who's neighborhood lost parking to the expansive and unsightly rack systems. The rental of these bikes is very expensive. After only renting a bike a dozen times, one could simply buy a basic cruiser and have it for years. We both received a warning and a $2 penalty charge for briefly locking the bikes up as we had a light dinner. The bikes apparently have odd rules about how much time you can use them, how much time they can be ridden, how much time they can remain idle, and where you can lock them up. The bikes are heavy. They are not terribly heavy for riding, but the rear of the bike [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 July 22nd, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Portland bars that allow minor children

Are you looking for Portland bars that allow minor children? You're not alone. Families in the Pacific Northwest love their beer and wine. According to Oregon Craft Beer, as of July 2015, there 58 breweries in Portland, 84 in the Portland metro area, 23 in Bend and 31 in Central Oregon, and 14 in Eugene. According to the Willamette Valley Wineries Association, there are more than 400 wineries in the Willamette Valley (the heart of Oregon Wine Country). Below are links to lists of Portland bars that allow minor children: 5th Quadrant: 3901 N. Williams Ave., Portland OR, 503-288-3996 Aladdin Theater: 3017 SE Milwaukie Blvd., Portland OR, 503-234-9694 ext. 2 Alameda Brewhouse: 4765 NE Fremont St., Portland OR, 503-460-9025 Ankeny Tap & Table: 2724 SE Ankeny St., Portland OR, 503-946-1898 Base Camp Brewing: 930 SE Oak St., Portland OR, 503-477-7479 Blitz: 2239 SE 11th Ave., Portland OR, 503-236-3592 Blitz: 110 NW 10th Ave., Portland OR, 503-222-2229 Blitz: 10935 SW 68th Parkway, Portland OR, 503-719-5157 Breakside Brewery: 820 NE Dekum St., Portland OR, 503-719-6475 BridgePort Brewpub: 1313 NW Marshall St., Portland OR, 503-241-3612 Burnside Brewing: 701 E Burnside St., Portland OR, 503-946-8151 Bushwhacker Cider: 901 NE Oneonta St., Portland OR, 971-229-1663 Cascade Brewing Barrel House: 939 SE Belmont St., Portland OR, 503-265-8603 Columbia River Brewing: 1728 NE 40th Ave., Portland OR, 503-943-6157 Concordia Ale House: 3276 NE Killingsworth St., Portland OR, 503-287-3929 County Cork Public House: 1329 NE Fremont St., Portland OR, 503-284-4805 Deschutes Brewery Public House: 210 NW 11th Ave., Portland OR, 503-296-4906 EastBurn: 1800 E Burnside St., Portland OR, 503-236-2876 Ecliptic Brewing: 825 N Cook St., Portland OR, 503-265-8002 Ex Novo Brewing: 2326 N Flint Ave., Portland OR, 503-894-8251 Fat Head's: 131 NW 13th [...]

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 January 10th, 2016|Categories: Divorce, Family Law|Comments Off on Portland bars that allow minor children

False Positive Drug Tests in Oregon

There are frequently false positive drug tests in Oregon. The most common test kit used by Oregon State Police troopers, local sheriff's deputies, and city police officers is the NIK kit. The kits are relatively inexpensive and used in the field (during active investigations) to quickly test for controlled substances (aka "illegal drugs"). They are also used improperly by law enforcement to mislead suspects, judges, grand jurors, prosecutors, defense attorneys, defendants, and third-parties by providing a quasi-scientific aura to field drug testing. Take, for example, a cop in the field who wants to arrest someone for possession of cocaine. Let's say the person is found in possession of some pills and white powder in a baggie, but denies possession of cocaine. The cop runs a NIK test and then tells the suspect (the person is now a "suspect" in the eyes of the cop) that the test came back positive for cocaine. The cop will then arrest the suspect, and book them into jail. At the grand jury proceeding, the cop will tell the prosecutor and the grand jurors that the person was in possession of cocaine, based on the NIK test. This may make the difference between felony charges being filed, or not. The truth of the matter is that Tylenol PM could cause a NIK test to come back positive for cocaine-- even though there is no cocaine in Tylenol PM. For an illustrative video of how false positive drug tests can happen, check out the video below: If you'd like to read even more about this project, check out the False Positives Equal False Justice executive summary.

By | 2016-10-13T00:19:28+00:00 January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI|Comments Off on False Positive Drug Tests in Oregon