Archive for December, 2010

MI DUI Charges – Police Arrest Michigan Woman on ‘Super Drunk’ Charges in Auto-Bike Accident

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

One does not have to be a Michigan DUI attorney to know that being caught driving under the influence of alcohol is a very big deal. Not only can one lose their driving privileges if convicted, jail time and large fines are also common. In recent months, Michigan lawmakers have enacted even stricter penalties for drunk drivers with high blood alcohol contents (BAC). Known as the “Super Drunk” law, this law applies to those who are caught driving in Michigan with a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher. Considered excessively intoxicated, such an individual will be subjected to longer and tougher sentences, larger fines and longer suspension of driving privileges.

Even though this law went into effect in November of 2010, residents across  Michigan  are already being arrested on Michigan Super Drunk charges. Such an example is 37-year-old Michigan woman who was driving in Swan Lake Township, when she smashed into something. Not sure what she had hit, the motorist continued driving toward her destination. Once at her family member’s home, the driver learned that a man had been hit while riding his bicycle on the same road which she was previously traveling on. Immediately, the 37-year-old called 9-1-1, and turned herself into police.

Law enforcement officials arrived at the house and performed several field sobriety tests on the woman, including a chemical breath test, sometimes called a DataMaster or Breathalyzer test. When her blood alcohol content registered to .206, police officers instantly suspected that she had struck the bicyclist while driving drunk and then left the scene of the accident.

While this case is currently pending a toxicology report from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, the motorist will likely face “Super Drunk” charges, as her blood alcohol content exceeded .17. If convicted, the driver will face doubled jail time and have a suspended license for at least 45 days. Additionally, the violator will be required to pay stiff fines, participate in alcohol treatments and even install a breath testing interlock system into her vehicle – all of which will amount to many thousands of dollars.

Because the new legislation imposes significantly harsher punishments for drunk driving, DUI, OWI and OUID, it is important that those accused of violating the “Super Drunk” law immediately seek legal assistance. Contacting knowledgeable and skilled DWI defense lawyers that are well-versed in the new legislation can help you navigate the complex legal process, as well as provide superior legal advice and legal representation for your case. Do not let a drunk driving arrest in Michigan change your life forever – contact experienced drunk driving lawyers today. Drunk driving cases can sometimes be beat.

MI DUI Charges – Michigan State Basketball Star Arrested For Drunk Driving

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Being pulled over for a routine traffic stop is a frustrating experience for any motorist to go through. If the police officer at the scene believes that you are driving while intoxicated, your problems instantly become bigger. This is especially true for those who are in the public spotlight, such as athletes on popular college teams across the state. Ask any experienced Michigan DUI attorney,  just because a person is well-known, does not mean that the consequences against them are lenient. If convicted, the individual will face criminal punishments, the shame of a tarnished reputation as the story runs through the media, and driver license sanctions by the Michigan Secretary of State.

Recently, such an example surfaced where a Michigan State University basketball player was arrested for DUI charges in Michigan.

Law enforcement officials in East Lansing witnessed junior point guard Korce Lucius driving erratically during early morning hours. After pulling him over, police administered several sobriety tests, including a breath test. Lucius’ blood alcohol results registered at 0.09, slightly over the legal limit for driving in the state of Michigan. It is also likely that the basketball player will face additional charges, as he is not the legal drinking age–Lucius turned 21 years old after his drunk driving arrest. However, a DUI under 21 may be the least of his problems–according to head coach Tom Izzo, the organization has been notified of Lucius’ arrest and is investigating the matter internally. “We’re aware that a ticket was issued, and we are still gathering information,” Izzo commented during a press conference regarding the incident.

While Lucius will certainly face legal consequences for both underage drinking and driving while intoxicated, it is unknown whether he will also face punishments imposed by Michigan State University and the athletic department. However, his dismissal from the team is possible, as former guard Chris Allen was dismissed from the team just for failing to meet Izzo’s obligations and requirements.

As evidenced by the example of Korce Lucius, being arrested for drunk driving is a difficult experience regardless of celebrity status. If convicted, he is likely to face several legal consequences including the loss of driving privileges, fines, or even jail time. Those in the public eye, like Lucius, also face the additional hardship of having their personal shame paraded through the media helping to tarnish their reputation. If you or a loved one is facing drunk driving charges, it is essential to seek knowledgeable and aggressive DWI defense lawyers Michigan. Acting quickly helps you get the best legal advice and legal representation, protecting your personal rights as well as your reputation.

MI DUI Charges – Northern Michigan Doctor Violates Probation, Faces DUI Charges

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Anytime a person is convicted of criminal charges in Michigan, significant restrictions are placed on their life as terms of probation. Often, the person is prohibited from consuming controlled substances including alcohol, leaving the state or even driving a vehicle. One does not need to be an experienced DWI defense lawyer to know that violating probation is no laughing matter particularly when charged with drunk driving. Conviction will only serve to further limit one’s personal freedoms and liberties.

An example of this is seen in the recent case of Northern Michigan resident Dr. Jeffrey Hoffa who is facing legal troubles again after pleading guilty to various charges earlier this year. Following a sting operation in May 2009, Hoffa was arrested on ten felony counts including numerous forms of health care fraud, drug possession charges as well as unlawfully prescribing medication. As a result, Hoffa’s medical license was suspended and he was sentenced to serve 24 months of probation with 80 hours of community service. Additionally, Hoffa was restricted from consuming any controlled substance, driving for six months, or violating any criminal law.

Despite the conditions set forth in his original plea bargain, Hoffa found himself back in court for different reasons: DUI charges in Michigan.

Law enforcement officials in Leelanau County pulled him over after witnessing him swerve his vehicle over the center line. After performing a breath test, police  determined that Hoffa’s blood alcohol content was 0.18 – about three times the legal driving limit. Because he violated the terms of his probation by consuming alcohol and by violating another Michigan criminal law, he was arrested for drunk driving. It is almost certain that he will face increased punishment as a repeat offender and probation violator.

As seen by the example of Dr. Jeffrey Hoffa, the consequences for criminal charges can be severe and seriously limit your personal livelihood and freedoms. Repeat offenders, particularly those accused of drunk driving, face an even bigger challenge, as judges and juries are less likely to be sympathetic regarding repeat offenses and probation violations. Because of this, it is essential to seek knowledgeable and aggressive DWI defense lawyers for assistance. Acting quickly will help to ensure the legal advice and legal representation needed to be successful in court, keeping you at home and not in jail.

Drunk Driving Statistics – Federal Report on DUI Statistics Highlights Impaired Driving in US

Friday, December 10th, 2010

As a Michigan DUI attorney, clients accused of drunk driving charges are represented on a daily basis. Each of these defendants face great consequences if convicted, including excessive fines and possible incarceration. Even though these cases are commonly seen in DUI law firms, a recently published article USA Today presented drunk driving statistics that would alarm even the best DUI lawyer. Within the past year, one in eight drivers aged 16 and older operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, while over four percent of Americans drove while under the influence of illegal drugs.

Using DUI statistics presented by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the report estimate that DUI statistics for 2006-2009 fell to 13.2%, when compared with 2002-2005. Additionally, the number of Americans who operated a vehicle while under the influence of  illegal drugs also fell, from 4.8% to 4.3%.

Although we can certainly applaud the fact that more motorists are driving sober, the numbers behind these percentages are still alarmingly high. The National Survey on Drug Use in health estimated that 30.6 million people drove drunk in the United States within the last year. The federal report also presented alarming information about drugged driving, stating that approximately 10.1 million Americans operated a car while under the influence of illegal drugs in 2010.

While arrest and conviction statistics were not presented in the report, one does not need to be a top DUI lawyer to know that driving drunk or while on illicit drugs can carry significant consequences. In addition high fines and a suspension of your driving privileges, a convicted drunk driver may also face time behind bars as well. If charged with a drunk driving in Michigan, it is important to contact a skilled and knowledgeable DWI defense lawyer for assistance. As navigating the legal process can be difficult and complex, DUI defense lawyers can provide the legal advice and representation needed to make sure that the charges against you do not change your life forever.

MI Drunk Driving – Michigan Drunk Driving Laws Clarified in DUI Case

Friday, December 10th, 2010

It is difficult to turn on the television or surf the web without seeing drunk driving cases from around the country highlighted in the news. Although drunk driving laws by state tend to vary, these crimes are largely referred to as DUI, an acronym standing for “driving under the influence.”

However, Michigan drunk driving laws are phrased a little differently. Generally, offenders arrested for driving while intoxicated are charged with one of four crimes:

  1. Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUIL)
  2. Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
  3. Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID)
  4. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Of these three charges, the most common is Operating While Intoxicated.

Unless you are an experienced DWI defense lawyer, it is likely that the terminology used in these laws are confusing to you. For instance, what does it mean to “operate” a vehicle? Certainly, under Michigan DUI law, driving down the road is considered “operating” a vehicle. But, what about if the keys are in the ignition, but the intoxicated person is not driving the car? Or what if the motorist already drove the vehicle, but was caught only after stopped? With all these “what if” questions, no wonder accused drunk drivers in Michigan are confused.

Although the puzzle is far from complete, a recent ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals has provided some clarification.

In this drunk driving case, the Defendant was driving on a slippery freeway and lost control of his truck, striking the guardrail on both sides of the road before coming to a complete stop in the middle of the freeway. At the time of the accident, the motorist’s blood alcohol content was 0.12, which is over the legal limit in Michigan. (o.o8%) After collision, the Defendant was unable to move his truck, but he did turn off the headlights and turned on the hazard lights. However, it was not long before an oncoming vehicle came on the wreck too quickly and had to swerve to avoid hitting the truck. In the process, the oncoming car struck and killed a motorist who was stopped at the scene to offer assistance.

The truck driver was charged with a drunk driving crime, but argued in court that the charge was misplaced as his truck was stopped and he was not “operating” a vehicle under the dictionary definition of “operating.” However, the Michigan Court of Appeals disagreed with the Defendant, ruling that a motorist is considered “operating” a vehicle until the car is in a position that will not cause risk to others. Because the Defendant drove drunk and left his truck in the middle of the freeway in the dark, the truck posed a safety risk to others on the road, and therefore he was “operating” the vehicle at the time of the motorist’s death.

The above case highlights the vast grey area that exists within drunk driving laws. Even though drunk driving laws vary by state, one thing is consistent: conviction of drunk driving charges will change a defendant’s life forever. Besides excessive fines, it is possible that an offender could go to jail or prison, depending on the severity of the charge. Because the consequences for drinking and driving are so severe, it is essential to find the best DUI lawyer available to assist you. In addition to providing detailed explanation of drunk driving laws, a Michigan DUI attorney can provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to preserve your reputation and freedom.