Archive for August, 2010

MI Drunk Driving – New iPhone App Hopes to Curb Michigan DUI Arrests

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Representing residents statewide, Michigan DUI lawyers understand that a drunk driving arrest is no laughing matter. Not only could driving privileges be lost, but it is also possible to face stiff fines or jail time as a result. While law enforcement officials are always on the lookout for intoxicated motorists, enforcement is especially high during the summer months, particularly over holiday weekends.

Labor Day 2010 looks to be no exception to this rule. Police officers across the state have been participating in a drunk driving crackdown, extending until September 6th. The mission is to keep the roads and other drivers safe from drunk motorists, as car crashes involving alcohol are eight times as likely to be fatal.

In addition to several television advertisements, law enforcement officials are using other technology to remind drivers to stay sober and safe. The “Michigan DUI Tracker” is a new iPhone application that allows motorists to use their GPS system to locate nearby police officers. It is hoped that this will remind all drivers that police can be anywhere at any time, looking out for intoxicated persons. Additionally, the application also encourages users to reach out for a safer way home, by presenting a list of local taxi cab companies and friends’ phone numbers. This feature is intended to encourage motorists to look for a sober ride before getting behind the wheel.

Police officers support the new iPhone application, stating that it works to spread their message far and wide: “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest.” Not only will the technology make calling for a designated driver easier and more convenient, it reinforces the drunk driving message to people of all ages. “Introducing an app for iPhones keeps the drunk driving message current,” stated Michael L. Prince, the director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

It is important to spread this message, both to maintain public safety and help Michigan residents avoid a life-changing DUI arrest. Being charged with drunk driving can result in serious personal and legal consequences including the loss of driving privileges, fines, probation, and even jail time. To prevent this from happening to you, it is essential to pro-actively seek hard-working and knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan for assistance. Doing so quickly will ensure the legal advice and legal representation needed to present your case and protect your personal rights.

MI Drunk Driving – Police Across Michigan Step Up DUI Patrols In Preparation For Labor Day

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

As the summer begins to wind down and fall approaches, many people are preparing for Labor Day celebrations. However, experienced DUI lawyers in Michigan remind residents: law enforcement officials are also getting ready. Police departments across the state are beginning to step up enforcement, keeping a special eye out for drunk drivers on the roads.

In Washtenaw County alone, there were 18 alcohol-related crashes during Labor Day 2009–eight of which resulted in serious personal injury, and one in death. To prevent the statistics from repeating themselves this year, police departments across the state will be devoting extra attention watching state roadways for drunk drivers. Paid for by the Federal Traffic Safety Funds Administration, the efforts will include over 200 hours of increased enforcement, ending September 6th. Additionally, media campaigns have been released across the state targeting men between 21-34, who are the ones most likely to be arrested on Michigan DUI charges.

In the state of Michigan, any driver with a blood alcohol content registering over 0.08 or higher is considered intoxicated. Furthermore, should the person’s blood content be .17 or higher, the motorist is considered “super drunk” and the charges against them increase. Nonetheless, any drunk driving allegation results in a costly and difficult process for anyone to go through. Fees from court, attorneys, and increased insurance rates alone are enough to terrify a defendant. Additionally, a DUI conviction will almost certainly cause the loss of driving privileges or time in jail. Because the consequences of a drunk driving arrest are so severe, it is essential to pro-actively seek the best legal defense for your case. Contacting hard-working and knowledgeable DUI attorneys in Michigan will ensure that your case receives the legal advice and legal representation to clear your name and protect your rights.

MI DUI Charges – Previous DWI Conviction Haunts Livonia Dentist, With License Suspended

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

You do not have to be an experienced Michigan drunk driving lawyer to know that a DUI arrest will have life-changing consequences. Not only is the suspect’s driving rights and freedom at risk, but drunk driving charges could also impact one’s professional life as well. Some occupations, particularly those that have state-approved licensing, require a convicted drunk driver to report their infraction to the state board. Failure to do so can ensure that your DUI conviction may continue to haunt you, even years later.

In 2003, Livonia dentist Thomas Schwagle was arrested and convicted of DUI charges in Michigan. Although he completed his probationary terms, regularly attends AA meetings, and retired last November, law enforcement officials have accused Schwagle of several criminal charges. Police maintain that he failed to disclose his previous drunk driving conviction to the state board, in addition to unlawfully providing drugs (including nitrous oxide) to addicts and young girls.

Schwagle denies all allegations that he provided any illicit or inappropriate narcotics to anyone, neither addicts nor minors. However, he does acknowledge that he did not advise the medical board in Michigan of  his drunk driving conviction. “I guess I’m supposed to report it to the state board or something. I had no knowledge of that, and I’ve been going to my AA meetings for seven years,” Schwagle stated. Despite this, his failure to report the DUI resulted in the suspension of his medical license by the state.

Even though Schwagle retired in November 2009, he is still fighting the suspension. Teaming up with knowledgeable counsel, the former dentist is hopeful that his license will be reinstated, and the charges against him dropped.

The case described above is a perfect example of how drunk driving convictions can haunt a person for life. Just fulfilling basic requirements such as probation or jail time is sometimes not enough. Professionals (including medical practitioners) are often required to report their conviction to a state board, even though coming forward to a group of your occupational peers can be difficult. However, as seen by the case of Thomas Schwagle, disclosing such information is important to prevent a previous DUI arrest from becoming a re-occurring problem. To battle the charges and potential consequences you face, it is important to retain the legal advice and legal representation of experienced DUI attorneys in Michigan. Doing so will not only protect your driving rights and freedom, but your future as well.

Drunk Driving Arrest – Mom Arrested For DUI After Fight With Teen Son Refusing To Get In Car

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

While all the people seeking legal assistance from drunk driving lawyers in Michigan are facing serious consequences, those who were busted for driving drunk with children in the car face a tougher legal battle. Not only will the person face consequences stemming from drunk driving charges, but it is likely that the suspect will also face child endangerment charges as well, putting their parental rights at risk. These incidents certainly are not the norm, as most parents generally tend to keep their kids out of the vehicle when they have been drinking. After an out-of-state mom was arrested for her fourth DUI, however, clearly sometimes mother does not know best.

Last week, the manager at a local Toys “R” Us was retrieving shopping carts when he noticed a Honda Pilot rear-end a parked car. The store employee notified law enforcement officials, who arrived on the scene to find a woman arguing with her 14 year-old son, while another nine year-old son sat in the vehicle. Feeling that something was wrong with his mother, the teen refused to get in the car with her. Police immediately noticed that Nancy Contois, 40, was severely intoxicated as she continued to argue with both her children and police. After her blood alcohol content registered as 0.267 percent, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08, Contois was arrested for drunk driving charges.

This is not the first time Contois has faced charges for driving under the influence. A three-time DUI offender, she was previously arrested in 1990, 1994, and 2001. Even though Contois stated in court this week that she was sober for five years, she is still facing a laundry list of severe consequences and punishments for the incident, including a fourth drunk driving charge, cruelty to a child, domestic assault, resisting arrest, and reckless endangerment. In addition to the eleven plus years of jail time Contois will receive if convicted, her husband filed a restraining order against her. Along with the other charges, it is possible that she may also be prevented from seeing her children or lose her parental rights as a result.

Being accused of drunk driving once, let alone four times, is a big deal. Judges, juries, and law enforcement officials are increasingly less sympathetic to repeat offenders of crimes that put others in danger, such as driving while intoxicated. Because the consequences for DWI charges can be so severe, it is essential to contact hard-working and aggressive DUI attorneys in Michigan. Not only will you receive the best legal advice, but also legal representation designed to defend your driving privileges, parental rights, and personal freedoms.

Drunk Driving – Man Escapes DUI Charges With Help From His Crucifix

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Being pulled over for a traffic stop is an annoying experience for any motorist –and law enforcement officials could have a variety of reasons for pursuing a driver. Although it may not be their original motive, if a police officer suspects that a motorist is intoxicated, then it is possible that the person will also face DUI charges, in addition to the original violation. However, experienced DUI lawyers in Michigan remind drivers: law enforcement officials must have probable cause to pull a motorist over. Otherwise, any evidence obtained cannot be used against the defendant.

Such an example is seen in a recent out-of-state drunk driving case. In March 2006, law enforcement officials pulled over Gregory Cyrus for a traffic stop. Police had noted that he was driving with a crucifix around his rear-view mirror.  It is against the law to have anything hanging from there. After stopping Cyrus for this original reason, the attending officer noticed that he showed signs of intoxication, eventually arresting him on DUI charges.

However, Cyrus challenged the arrest stating that the officer had no reason to pull him over in the first place. State law does ban motorists from hanging items from the rear-view mirror, but it only applies to objects that distract or block the driver’s view. As the crucifix was neither distracting nor preventing Cyrus from clearly seeing the road, defense attorneys argued that drunk driving evidence obtained during the traffic stop was gained unconstitutionally. State Supreme Court Justices agreed with the defense, and in a split decision ruled that Cyrus did not violate state law and therefore the officer had no reason to stop him in the first place.

A drunk driving arrest is a difficult process for any motorist to go through, as conviction comes with severe consequences including the loss of driving privileges and potential jail time. However, it is important that motorists are aware of their own rights. Evidence gained in an unconstitutional manner may not be held against you, as seen in the case of Gregory Cyrus. To ensure your rights are upheld in court, it is important to retain a hard-working and aggressive DUI attorney in Michigan for assistance. Doing so will ensure that your case receives the best legal advice and legal representation, designed to keep you on the roads and at home, not behind bars.