Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair said 85 people, ranging from police officers to judges, attended the class, which was held at Bevill State Community College’s Jasper campus.
“We had a great turnout,” Adair said. “There were people from just about every local law enforcement agency. We had folks from as far away as Limestone County. It went real well, and I believe it was very educational.”
The seminar covered all aspects of DUI law, from the initial traffic stop through trial.
The seminar was conducted by Brandon Hughes, traffic safety resource prosecutor with the Montgomery-based Office of Prosecution Services. Hughes is an expert on DUI prosecution and frequently assists prosecutors across Alabama with understanding the technical aspects of trying DUI cases.
“Brandon recently assisted our office in obtaining a conviction in a manslaughter case in which prescription drugs were the contributing cause of a fatal wreck that left one dead and one seriously injured,” Adair said. “The defendent received a 40-year sentence.”
Dr. Greg Turner, lab director of the Implied Consent Unit at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, also provided information during the seminar. Turner led a discussion on breath alcohol testing.
Adair said he felt the seminar will prove beneficial when prosecuting cases involving suspects driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
“Achieving justice in these cases is a team effort,” he said. “The seminar covered critical points that will be beneficial to arresting officers who shoulder the burden of gathering necessary evidence needed to obtain a conviction. Successful trial preparation and testimony was also covered. These are things that will help to convict people who drive under the influence and hurt or kill someone.”
Wednesday’s seminar was the second annual continuing education event sponsored by the DA’s office.