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.
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.
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.
Feds want states to lower legal blood alcohol level limit
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.
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.
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. 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.
Were you charged with misdemeanor of open intoxication after drinking in a vehicle? Even having an open beverage in the vehicle is sufficient in some circumstances to run a foul of MCL 257.624a. For example, you may not have an “open” (but recorked) bottle of wine in the passenger compartment of your car unless it has no trunk and is not within easy access of any occupants. If you have been charged with this demeanor, it is a serious crime with serious ramifications. You may be assessed high court fines, incarcerated, and will have a permanent criminal record. An experienced attorney may be able to question the validity of the stop and search. Further, through negotiations with the Prosecutor or City attorney we can try to negotiate a modification, reduction, or dismissal of charges. At Garmo & Kiste, PLC we frequent Metro Detroit court’s and have experience with the attorneys and judges assigned to your case. Our goal is to get you sentenced pursuant to a diversionary program whereby after completing a period of probation or other court terms such as community service the crime will be removed from your record. 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.
257.624a Transportation or possession of alcoholic liquor in container open or uncapped or upon which seal broken; violation as misdemeanor; exception.
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who is an operator or occupant shall not transport or possess alcoholic liquor in a container that is open or uncapped or upon which the seal is broken within the passenger compartment of a vehicle upon a highway, or within the passenger compartment of a moving vehicle in any place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, in this state.
(2) A person may transport or possess alcoholic liquor in a container that is open or uncapped or upon which the seal is broken within the passenger compartment of a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles in this state, if the vehicle does not have a trunk or compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the container is enclosed or encased, and the container is not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle.
(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. As part of the sentence, the person may be ordered to perform community service and undergo substance abuse screening and assessment at his or her own expense as described in section 703(1) of the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, 1998 PA 58, MCL 436.1703. A court shall not accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere for a violation of this section from a person charged solely with a violation of section 625(6).
(4) This section does not apply to a passenger in a chartered vehicle authorized to operate by the state transportation department.