Category Archives:Drunk Driving

Labor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown

iStock 000004185499Small 300x300 Labor Day Drunk Driving CrackdownLabor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown:

“Designated Driver Dark” and “Call a Cab Cider” may sound like quirky craft beer names but they are actually names for fictitious brews imagined by the leaders of a new anti-drunk driving campaign in Michigan. This branch of the “drive sober or get pulled over” campaign will run through Labor Day weekend.  Michigan police typically launch campaigns such as this in conjunction with crackdowns around holidays when citizens are most likely to drink including Thanksgiving, New Years and the Fourth of July.

The campaign is meant to raise awareness of a crackdown on drunk-driving offenses. Even though the campaign is humorous, it is related to unlawful activities that carry very serious ramifications. The crackdown will take place in over 40 Michigan counties including Wayne and Oakland.  Police officers will focus on the enforcement of drunk driving and seatbelt violations.  It is likely officers will keep a close eye out for the signs of offenses such as operating while intoxicated. This offense has ramifications that impact your career and social life.

If you have been charged with an offense as a result of this crackdown or while celebrating Labor Day weekend, contact the attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC.  Our law firm has successfully handled many cases involving driving while intoxicated and other traffic and alcohol-related offenses.  If you would like more information or to retain an attorney at Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?

iStock 000010578375Small 300x300 Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?

The rumble of engines can be heard on Woodward Avenue as car collectors are gearing up for the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise. The official event will be held on Saturday, August 16th, 2014 but hundreds are warming up their engines already.

The Dream Cruise first started in 1995 and has since become a Detroit tradition. The event attracts 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars from across the U.S. and beyond. The tradition is for caravans of cars to parade up and down the iconic Detroit Avenue, giving car lovers an amazing opportunity to “camp-out” on the street and spot some amazing models. Additionally, there will be other entertainment set up along the route including musical performances and a play zone for children.

The nature of the event lends itself to certain concerns and police will be out in full force implementing the law. They will be keeping an eye out not only for traffic violations such as Reckless Driving and Drag Racing but also general violations such as Open Container/Intoxicants and Urinating in Public. If you are charged with any of these offenses or others while you are enjoying the events over the next week, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and have represented hundreds of cases in Metro Detroit including the 44th District Court in Royal Oak and and 43rd District Court Ferndale. For more information, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

Michigan Implied Consent Law

iStock 000012031771Small 300x300 Michigan Implied Consent LawMichigan Implied Consent Law: The Risk of Refusing Tests

If you are a Michigan resident, you should be aware that the act of operating a vehicle enters you into an implicit agreement to submit to alcohol testing. MCL 257.625c dictates that any individual who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles within the state is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of his or her blood, breath, or urine to determine if he or she has been using alcohol or another controlled substance in certain circumstances. These circumstances include if you are being arrested for operating while intoxicated or while visibly impaired.

Violations occur when an individual is arrested under one of the provisions cited in MCL 257.625c including operating while intoxicated and the driver has refused to submit to a breath test. Though it is not mandatory that you submit to a breath test, you should know that refusal is de facto an implied consent violation. Some individuals refuse under the assumption that it may help them avoid the primary charge including operating while intoxicated. However, the officer will almost always proceed to obtain a warrant to do the testing and the implied consent violation has already occurred.

An individual seeking to challenge the refusal violation must request a hearing within 14 days of the date of notice. Time is of the essence in these cases. The ramification of violating the implied consent provision is a one-year suspension of your operator’s license. Note that this applies only to the first refusal. If you refuse a second time within seven years of the first refusal, your operator’s license may be suspended for a period of two years. There may also be special ramifications if you have a commercial operator’s license.

There is an exception to the implied consent rule under MCL 257.625(c)(2) for individuals that suffer from hemophilia, diabetes or other conditions requiring the use of an anticoagulant which may justify the refusal to submit to a blood test. This defense should be raised by your attorney because an officer may neglect to include this information in his report thus subjecting you to punishment.

Losing your operator’s license has a severe impact on your life economically and socially. If you were arrested for operating while intoxicated or any of the other offenses cited in MCL 257.625c and refused to submit to alcohol testing, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We have extensive experience handling cases in the Metro Detroit area, giving is the expertise necessary to handle these intricate cases. Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 now for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Tigers Opening Day Criminal Charges?

iStock 000016018188Small 300x300 Tigers Opening Day Criminal Charges?Opening Day 2014, Tigers take on Kansas City Royals

Opening day is here and with it spring temperatures. While we all remember past opening days when it was chilling and people were anxious to head home early, this year it’s actually nice enough to be outside and even hit the bars after the game. However, police are active and in the area during opening day and are often writing an inordinate number of citations.

Have you been charged with urinating in public at the Tiger’s opening day? If so, you may be charged under the city ordinance, or state law. Detroit’s code Sec 28-9-2.0- Indecent exposure states that “No personal shall make any indecent exposure of his or her person in any public place.” MCL 750.335a states: A person shall not knowingly make any open or indecent exposure of his or her person or of the person of another. Violation of the section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both. While both of these sound fairly ambiguous and like they are not a big deal, they actually have pretty serious consequences. You can end up on the sex offender registry unless these charges are successfully negotiated and reduced by an experienced attorney.

Have you been charged with a drinking and driving/DUI offense on opening day? Michigan law provides strict penalties for operating while impaired (OWI), operating while visibly impaired (OWVI), and OWI High BAC (HBAC Law), where your blood alcohol content is .17 or above. These are difficult charges to handle with an attorney, let alone on your own especially if it is not your first offense. You are looking at licensing ramifications, as well as potential jail time, court costs and fines. An experienced attorney can work to mitigate these penalties and protect your rights.

Finally, each year around this time we hear from people who have been charged with a Minor in Possession (MIP), open intoxication/public intoxication (public intox or open intox), or drunk and disorderly conduct. These are all misdemeanor offenses which can be negotiated with the city attorney or prosecutor to minimize the effect on your life. However, without an experienced attorney you risk jail time, a permanent criminal record, and high costs and fines. Our offices work with local prosecutors and city attorney’s every day and can work to get you the best deal available so you can go on to enjoy the rest of the season in peace. Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Michigan Drinking and Driving BAC limit stays at .08

iStock 000005607391Large 300x300 Michigan Drinking and Driving BAC limit stays at .08 Michigan Drinking and Driving BAC limit stays at .08:

In 2003 there were 340 deaths related to drinking and driving. The legislature acted to lower the BAC threshold for drinking and driving from .10 to .08. By 2011, drinking and driving related deaths had dropped to 253. The law lowering the limit was originally temporary. It would have reverted back to .10 on October 1st. The Senate unanimously voted to retain the .08 threshold.  This was not entirely unexpected based on the relatively recent passage of the “Superdrunk” law. It seems the Michigan legislature aims to take a hard line with respect to drinking and driving offenses across the board. If you or someone you know is charged with a drinking and driving offense, it could have serious repercussions with respect to driving privileges and your criminal record. An experienced attorney can minimize this effect.

To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

See also, http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013304240087

Can you get a dui for driving a lawn mower? Bloomfield Township Man’s Arrested for Drinking and Driving a Lawnmower

iStock 000020399975Medium 300x300 Can you get a dui for driving a lawn mower? Bloomfield Township Man’s Arrested for Drinking and Driving a LawnmowerCan you get a dui for driving a lawn mower?

Late last month, a 47 year old man who had been drinking decided he had some pressing errands that couldn’t wait for him to sober up. Whether a lawnmower is Mr. Walton’s vehicle of choice, or he was trying to avoid drinking and driving is unknown, but he fired up his lawnmower to head to the store. Police spotted the lawn mower parked at a local store, observed him exiting and begin to drive it. Upon determining Mr. Walton was intoxicated the police pulled him over and he was promptly arrested for felony drinking and driving. As the original article notes “Michigan law doesn’t care whether it’s a lawn mower or a Lamborghini, if you drive a motor vehicle while intoxicated” you are subject to arrest for drinking and driving. Pursuant to Michigan law, any vehicle with a motor is covered. If you or someone you know has been charged with a drinking and driving offense of ANY kind contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC, for assistance in these matters call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. We are experienced Michigan attorneys with offices in Troy, MI.

 

HGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) Testing

iStock 000001230998Medium 300x300 HGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) TestingHGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) Testing

If you have ever been pulled over and suspected of drinking and driving, you might know there are a series of tests officers administer prior to the BAC known as field sobriety testing. This can include walking heel to toe, saying the alphabet backwards, and or following an object with your eyes and not your head tests (HGN). While in the past I had thought this was only to see if you were able to directions, it turns out there is a biological reason behind the last test. If you have not been drinking (absent some major neurological disorders), your eyeball will pan across a landscape following object at a consistent pace. If you have been drinking though, it will jump from frame to frame across your field of vision. Think of it like the difference between a continuously variable transmission and stick gear shifting. As such, it is impossible to mask this biological reaction. On the other hand, the interpretation of this result is entirely up to the officer so there is very little way to independently confirm the officer’s findings. If you have gotten this far in the process though, there is probably other evidence that is sufficient to uphold your DUI absent extenuating circumstances. Very, very few DUI/OWI/OWVI/DWI offenses get overturned entirely. At this point, it is best for you to focus on minimizing the consequences through strong representation. An experienced attorney knows the ins and outs of metro Detroit courts, various judge’s proclivities, and can work to negotiate a lenient plea agreement and sentence for you.

To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

What is Michigan's BAC Limit? Federal Government follows Michigan Trend, Supports Lower BAC Limits

iStock 000003703160Medium 300x300 What is Michigans BAC Limit? Federal Government follows Michigan Trend, Supports Lower BAC LimitsWhat is Michigan’s BAC Limit? Recently the Michigan Legislature acted to prevent state BAC limits from reverting back to .10, keeping the limit at .08. To allow otherwise would have rendered Michigan ineligible for significant federal highway funding which is tied to the lower BAC limit. The National Transportation Safety Board issues safety regulations, many of which have become law. Their victories include lowering the limit to .08 in the first place, and raising the drinking age from 18 to 21. They have decided to make their next fight lowering the BAC limit again, this time to .05. Citing Australia and Ireland who have lowered their rates to .05, the NTSB states that the US is practically alone in having such a high BAC limit. They allege that Australia saw 8%-18% reduction in drunken driving deaths.  That seems like a fairly large margin of error.

For your reference here is a map of BAC limits around the world.

http://chartsbin.com/view/2037

It seems if this were really such a problem, we would be hearing a lot of anecdotal evidence of people being pulled over, breathalyzed, and blowing between .05 and .08. In our experience, this is pretty rare. Most clients who have been arrested for Drinking and Driving offenses blow at least a .10, plausibly because until that point of inebriation driving impairment is not often visible.

To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Understanding Alcohol Related Crime: The Role of Addiction in a Criminal Trial of Licensing Action

iStock 000007945476Small 300x300 Understanding Alcohol Related Crime: The Role of Addiction in a Criminal Trial of Licensing ActionUnderstanding Alcohol Related Crime:

If there is one thing that makes Judges scared, it is the idea of having to explain to voter’s why they are perceived as being soft on drunk driving. The result is basically a competition to see who can be the toughest on drinking offenses. A secondary effect, is that in the legal world the social drinker seems to be becoming extinct. If you find yourself charged with an alcohol related crime, or dealing with an alcohol related driver’s license restriction the court is basically going to presume you have at least an alcohol problem, and more likely that you are a full-blown alcoholic. One problem that we see when people represent themselves is their initial and natural response is to try to disprove this presumption. When we represent someone we see this as an opportunity. The court is anxious to see you rehabilitated, and if we can work with this presumption, we can show the court through counseling, AA, and periods of sobriety that you are committed to staying sober and following the court’s instructions.

Navigating the legal world can be challenging if you are inexperienced, but an able lawyer can put their experience to work for you. Need help Understanding Alcohol Related Crime? call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

How can i get a Get a DUI/OWI/OWVI/OUI Dismissed?

iStock 000011600830Small 300x300 How can i get a Get a DUI/OWI/OWVI/OUI Dismissed?

While everyone who has received a drinking and driving ticket wants to get it dismissed, it is actually an extremely rare occurrence. Especially in Oakland County, the police and prosecutors have convictions down to a science and are unlikely to drop a case unless it is extremely weak.

Our office has been successful in defeating charges and has identified a few common factors. First, if the police stop was not legal you stand a much better chance of the charge being dismissed. Second, if you were not read your rights any information that came in after it would have been reasonable expected you would be read your rights is out. Thirdly, if you were not actually seen by the police driving your car it can be difficult for the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were drinking AND driving. Finally, in some cases if your breath tests were performed in violation of the police’s own policies we may be able to argue they are invalid in rare circumstances.

If this does not describe your case though, don’t despair, we will still work to get you a good result. At this point our efforts will shift to sentencing, and plea negotiations. We can try to avoid you being subjected to extensive terms of probation, court costs and fines, and alcohol education and/or counseling sessions. So how can i get a get a DUI/OWI/OWVI/OUI Dismissed? call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.