A recent national study states that 50% of police officers do not buckle their seat belts when driving a car. This compares with 86% of the nation generally. This study comes on the heels of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 2012 statistics which showed that 37% of police officers involved in accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time. Additionally, national failure of officers to wear a seat belt is the leading cause of officer mortality, above even shooting deaths.
While new officers to the force often use their seat belts at the same rates as others. However, some may emulate senior officers and avoid using them. Additionally, many older police cars do not have functioning seat belts, or the belts have been tied back or cut out. This is because of a perception on the force that police officers are susceptible to a sudden brutal attack from behind. In such a scenario, which is very rare, a seat belt may be an impediment to an officer who needs to access weapons quickly. In reality, while this situation may occur occasionally, it is far more common for an officer to be injured or die as a result of a failure to wear a seat belt.
Michigan Seat Belt Safety Law & the Police: While many states have exempted police officers from their seatbelt safety laws, Michigan’s law does not appear to exempt police officers specifically. It is unclear if there is no exemption because Michigan police officers regularly use their seat belts, or for one of the above discussed reasons. This means Michigan’s statistics could vary significantly from the national average However, there is still a decent likelihood that if you are pulled over for a seat belt violation the cop who pulled you over was not buckled up either.
To retain 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.
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.
Can you get a dui for driving a lawn mower? Bloomfield Township Man’s Arrested for Drinking and Driving a Lawnmower
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.
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.
What 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.
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.
What Should I Do If I Receive An Out Of State Traffic Ticket?
Pleading guilty to a ticket and paying the fines can have very bad consequences and should never be the solution. You should always consult with a traffic defense attorney if you have received a traffic violation in another state just to evaluate your options and see if the traffic violation will affect your license.
In many cases an attorney can fight your ticket and help you get a reduction in points and fines. Many states also do not require the personal appearance of a driver in court where a legal representative has been hired. Consulting with an experienced traffic defense attorney can help you understand the penalties of your offense and can shed some more light on how an out of state traffic ticket may affect your license in Michigan.
Will An Out Of State Traffic Ticket Affect My License In Michigan? To retain 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.
Pursuant to MCL 257.625, if you get a DUI in another state, have a DUI on your driving record and then move to Michigan, your driver’s license may be suspended for an additional length of time. While this may seem like double jeopardy, driving is a privilege not a right. Especially when moving to a new state, not having a valid driver’s license can present a real problem. You may face background checks for new employment, have your credit checked using your driver’s license number for a new lease or bank account, or just need to drive around to find your way around your neighborhood or to your new drive.
Our firm has been able to negotiate on behalf of our clients to get this term of suspension dropped, reduced, or to count prior driver’s licenses suspensions as concurrent. Upon moving to a new state getting your life in order without being able to drive can be nearly impossible. Even if you are already established, you will need to arrange for transportation to work, and other places. We can put our experience to work for you and get you back on the road sooner.
Biomarkers are a blood protein that can be indicative of the not only the presence of alcohol, but also usage patterns, alcohol dependency, and relapse in the case of alcoholics. They can be identified rapidly and with a high level of certainty by a simple blood test. The only confounding factor yet identified is the presence of alcohol in household and personal hygiene items such as mouthwash or hand sanitizer. Previously labs could identify indirect residue of alcohol consumption based on effects primarily to the liver and other measures of body chemistry. These tests are direct as they test for analytes of alcohol consumption. They are therefore more reliable.
What does this mean for you? If you are on bond or probation, subject to alcohol testing, or required to be abstinent as a condition of your driving privileges the level of supervision you face may be about to go up. On the other hand, as the tests become more specific and fine-tuned, there is less of a chance of a false positive and could be used to your advantage. Currently probation officers and roadside tests use PBT testing, or at the very best the datamaster. PCT is notoriously unreliable and the datamaster may give rise to many implied consent violations for those who are unable to perform the test. An experienced attorney can work to get you off of probation faster, or to get a type on non-reporting probation so that you don’t have to submit to the uncertainty of drug testing, regardless of the procedure used.
Previously we have written about when a person with a suspended license moves to Michigan. This is a difficult situation, but what about when a Michigan resident with a suspended Michigan license moves out of state? Unfortunately this is becoming a more common occurrence as people leave the state of Michigan for job opportunities elsewhere. Procedurally these cases are very similar to a Michigan resident’s Driver’s license restoration. However, once the appeal goes through, you will be granted a clearance meaning that the hold on your license is cancelled. This means you will be free to get a new license in your new state. Our lawyers are experienced in driver’s license restoration and understand that it is inconvenient to handle a complicated administrative matter from out of state. We can handle the hassle and stress for you, allowing you to focus on more important issues.
Are you a Out of State Resident with a Revoked Michigan License? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Recently, our firm was able to help a client with a tricky driver’s license restoration problem. He had received a DUI in another state and upon moving to Michigan was informed that he would face another term of license suspension. While this may seem like double jeopardy, in fact driving is a privilege not a right. Our firm was able to negotiate a deal for him whereby he was essentially credited for the suspension he had previously completed. He now has full driving privileges in Michigan.
We are very proud of the results we were able to negotiate for this client and would love the chance to help you with your driver’s license restoration or other legal problem too. Dealing with an out of State DUI Michigan Driver’s License Suspension To retain 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.