Two drivers were arrested for DUI in separate incidents in Troy, Michigan, on the same day earlier this month. Normally this would not be noteworthy, but in this case, neither of the people arrested was actually driving at the time they were noticed by law enforcement officers.
Lansing, Michigan, police had their hands full with an alleged drunk driver recently. The man was at the courthouse, where he had come to face a charge of operating while impaired, but appeared drunk and was asked to take a breathalyzer test. At that point the man fled the courthouse and led police on a chase where speeds exceeded 110 miles per hour.
DRIVERS BEWARE! Many people believe that if their blood alcohol is below the legal limit of .08, they cannot be arrested for a drinking offense. This is wrong. .08 is the threshold for Operating While Intoxicated. A person with a blood alcohol of less than .08 could still be arrested if there was any alcohol in their system and if there is sufficient evidence for the police officer to believe that the driver was visibly impaired due to the drinking. This is a highly subjective area and, of course, one subject to challenge before a jury. However, exceeding the speed limit or barely going over a lane divider could be sufficient to justify a probable cause arrest for Impaired Driving with any alcohol in the driver's system. Of course, the closer to .08 the blood alcohol is, there would be higher likelihood of a potential arrest. Remember that Impaired Driving is a crime. Like Operating While Intoxicated, you could go to jail for up to 93 days, points would be placed on your record (4 instead of 6), you would be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Fee ($500 per year for 2 years instead of $1,000 per year for 2 years) and your drivers license would be suspended for 90 days, during which you would be eligible for a restricted license (for Operating While Intoxicated it would be 6 months suspension with restricted license eligibility after the first 30 days) along with other possible sanctions, including immobilization of your vehicle for up to 180 days, up to 360 days of community service and up to two years probation with probationary conditions.
Drunk driving in Michigan can lead to serious consequences, including hefty fines, jail time and/or license revocation or suspension. A man involved in a Highland Park accident suspected of drunk driving may soon learn these lessons for himself.
A few weeks ago on this blog, we wrote about a father in suburban Detroit, Michigan, who had his nine-year-old daughter drive him to a gas station because he had been drinking. While having a child act as a designated driver is not a good way to avoid a potential drunk driving charge, a recent interview with the father sheds some light on his decision--a decision that has led to national attention and local ridicule.
On December 4, 2011 at approximately 2:00 a.m., Ex Miss USA and Michigan native, Rima Fakih, was arrested for drunk driving. Ms. Fakih was driving her friend's vehicle when she was pulled over for suspicion of drunken driving. Through a Dearborn attorney, a statement was released stating that Ms. Fakih has "always been a law-abiding citizen for her whole life and it was just a poor lapse of judgment". It is unclear when her next court date will be.
Michigan is one of the states that are doing the least amount of work to cut down on drunk driving, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the National Transportation Safety Board.