Archive for the ‘Drugged-Driving Charges’ Category

Michigan Police Step Up Enforcement, Impared & Drunk Driving Arrests for Fourth of July

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Ask anyone that lives in Michigan, and they will tell you that the summer months are the best. Traditionally filled with boating, barbecues, family, and friends, summertime brings everyone outside and on the roads. However, frequent celebrations and an increased number of people driving has prompted law enforcement officials to step up patrols. DWI defense lawyers statewide warn motorists: as the Fourth of July approaches, more police will be on the look out for impaired and drunk drivers.

Police departments from 35 counties across the state have begun stepping up enforcement in preparation of the summer holiday, increasing patrols from July 1st to July 10th. Certainly, this is nothing new. Law enforcement officials nationwide keep an extra eye out for intoxicated motorists, particularly around celebratory holidays. This year, however, police will not only focus on drunk driving arrests, but also at keeping motorists impaired by drugs off the road as well. “While the focus of this effort is drivers under the influence of alcohol, officers will be arresting any impaired driver and removing not only drunk drivers from the roadway, but also those under the influence of drugs,” explained Michael Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

When one looks at the statistics, it’s not surprising that state police officers would also be keeping watch for drugged driving as well. While drunk driving arrests and accidents in Michigan have decreased, there has been a significant rise in drugged driving arrests. From 2009 to 2010 alone, the number of drug-involved arrests and crashes has increased by 29 percent!

No matter what, it is always the best idea to designate a sober driver after consuming any type of intoxicating substance. Not only can someone get seriously injured, but the penalties for drunk driving in Michigan are severe and life-changing. If arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is in your best interest to immediately contact an experienced DWI defense lawyer for assistance. Doing so as soon as possible will ensure the best legal advice and legal representation for your case, protecting your personal liberties and freedoms from being taken away.

DWI Defense Lawyers – Michigan Lawmakers Look to Equal Drunk Driving Penalties for Boats, Snowmobiles

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Michigan DWI defense lawyers must stay alert to changes made in state drunk driving laws. The recently passed “super drunk” driving measures increased penalties for those who had blood alcohol contents registering far above the legal limit of 0.08. While this change has already increased the number of drunk driving fines in Michigan, legislators have made it clear that they intend on taking their fight against DUI arrests much further.

As a beautiful state that sees many seasonal changes, residents love the opportunity to go boating in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. However, because so many people statewide take advantage of these fun recreational activities, increased participation creates the opportunity for more drunk driving and drug use. In Muskegon County alone, the many lakes are home to 12,600 registered boaters and their guests. “We’ve had boating accidents in the past that were alcohol-related¼ that resulted in death,” explained Deputy Todd Dunham, who controls the county’s marine and snowmobiling patrols. “Most of your snowmobile accidents that occur are alcohol-related,” he added.

While law enforcement officials in Muskegon were thrilled to escape the 2010 boating season without a single fatal crash, more than a dozen boaters were arrested for drunk boating. The snowmobile season is not nearly as promising—since 2005, over 130 snowmobilers have been killed in Michigan due to alcohol-related accidents.

The increasing number of drunk driving arrests involving boat and snowmobile operators has prompted legislators to take an active stance on the issue. Last year, a fatal drunk boating accident prompted State Representative Matt Lori to craft a series of bills that would level the playing field for drunk driving on all types of vehicles, including boats, snowmobiles, and off-road vehicles.

Although the 2010 bills never made it to a vote, Lori reintroduced a similar bill this year that would change the legal blood-alcohol content for boaters and snowmobilers. Currently, the legal limit for operating a boat in Michigan is 0.10, which is higher than the legal limit for persons operating a car while intoxicated. If the measure passes, it would lower the legal limit for boaters to 0.08, as well as make changes to address repeat offenders and those using drugs while operating a boat or a snowmobile. The law currently provides a ten year time limit to impose a felony drunk driving charge for people who have had two or more previous offenses. However, under the proposed change, if the violation occurs after two or more prior convictions the offender would be charged with a felony, regardless of the number of years that have elapsed since any prior conviction.

While Michigan lawmakers are hopeful that the measures will receive support, it is unlikely that they will be in place in time for the 2011 boating season. should changes be made, it will be much easier for law enforcement officials to target those operating boats or snowmobiles should they suspect one is driving while intoxicated. Because the penalties for drunk driving will be much stricter, it is even more important for arrested persons to contact the best DWI defense lawyer available. Not only will an experienced and skilled Michigan DUI attorney be able to explain the new laws to you, they will provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to defend you. Do not hesitate to contact counsel, as doing so can protect your personal freedoms and liberties from suspension.

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 State Law – To Curb Drugged Driving, Michigan May Enact Roadside Testing

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Seeing flashing patrol lights behind you while driving is an unpleasant experience for any motorist to go through. If the law enforcement officials at the scene believe the driver is under the influence of alcohol, various sobriety tests will be administered to either confirm or disprove police suspicions. While any experienced DUI lawyers in Michigan can attest that this is fairly routine, it is increasingly more difficult to determine if a driver is intoxicated by other substances, such as illicit drugs.

Drugged driving is also illegal and grounds for arrest, but it is difficult for prosecutors to pin such charges on a person, as drug tests are not performed at the scene of a traffic stop. Generally, a person suspected of driving under the influence of drugs is taken into custody and required to undergo hospital-administered blood tests to find the results.

Noticing this problem, Michigan legislators are actively working to expedite the process. Last Wednesday, a bill was introduced that would authorize law enforcement officials to give suspected drugged drivers a roadside saliva test, much like breath tests administered for alcohol. If approved, Michigan police would be given a test kit that can detect up to six types of illicit drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

Currently, this same test kit is used by police to test parolees but is not approved for use by traffic cops. Supporters of the proposal believe that implementing the change would make the procedures less time consuming and costly, as search warrants and hospital blood tests slow the process considerably. Although Michigan would be the first state to enact such a measure, similar efforts have already been implemented in other countries, helping to nab drugged drivers abroad.

However, several people remain skeptical of the legislation and its effects. Many question the equipment itself, and whether it would actually help public safety or result in more traffic stops for less legitimate reasons. For example, roadside drug testing could allow police to arbitrarily apply the law, particularly against the several drivers on the road who are lawfully using doctor-prescribed medications.

As this recently introduced legislation could result in major changes affecting Michigan motorists, it is important for all citizens to closely watch its development. This is particularly true for those who are lawfully using doctor-prescribed medications, as a drugged driving arrest is no laughing matter. Not only could one lose their driving privileges, but it is also possible to face high fines and lengthy jail sentences as well. To protect yourself, it is essential to contact hard-working and knowledgeable Michigan DUI attorneys for assistance. Doing so quickly will provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to defend your rights, keeping you on the roads and out of police custody.

MI State Law – Michigan Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Drugged-Driving Defendants

Monday, July 12th, 2010

OWI defense lawyers in Michigan can commiserate–being pulled over for a traffic stop is a frustrating experience for anyone to go through. However, if the police officer feels that the motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the suspect’s problems will instantly grow much larger. Previously, any indication of alcohol or marijuana in a driver’s system was sufficient evidence of intoxicated driving. However, much has changed in recent years. According to a recent decision made by the Michigan Supreme Court, prosecutors will have to work much harder to convict a motorist with drugged-driving.

In the past, 11-carboxy-THC was considered a schedule one controlled substance, placing it on the same level as heroin. However this byproduct of metabolism induced by marijuana use stays in the body long after the effects of the drug have worn off. As a result, many motorists were charged with drugged-driving offenses, even though they were not impaired at the time of the incident.

Recognizing this problem, the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the suspected drugged-motorists. The decision to overturn a previous 2006 ruling that classified 11-carboxy-THC as a schedule one controlled substance, means that prosecutors will now have to prove that drivers had the narcotic or its active agent in their system at the exact time of the traffic-related incident.

This change particularly affects the many residents state-wide who are permitted to use marijuana under the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. The public voted legislation allows patients suffering from reoccurring or debilitating diseases to consume the drug to ease the side-effects caused by their diseases. Even though these people were permitted by law to use marijuana, they could still be charged with drugged-driving prior to the ruling. After the decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, medical marijuana card-holders will be able to drive and enjoy the rights awarded by the legislation.

As seen by the above ruling handed down by the high court, the law is always changing and being clarified. Those accused of criminal charges can find that navigating through the legal process is complex, and they may have numerous questions regarding options. For those convicted of drugged-driving based on finding the metabolite 11-carboxy-THC it is very important to immediately contact a OWI defense attorney in Michigan for answers. Acting quickly will ensure sound legal advice and legal representation, designed to protect your rights and your freedom.