Many teenagers in Michigan, like other young people around the country, don't always make the best decisions, especially when it comes to being a minor in possession of alcohol. Dozens of kids are now facing the reality of owning up to those decisions after a big underage drinking bust at a yacht club earlier this month.
As we wrote about earlier this month, a Michigan state legislator was arrested after the governor's annual State of the State speech several weeks ago on suspicion of drunk driving. The legislator refused to take a breath test and was arrested by Michigan State University police and taken to the county jail.
A loophole in Super Drunk Driving legislation in Michigan is about to be closed. Cities and townships charging individuals under ordinance violations have been prohibited from charging anyone with a criminal offense carrying more than 93 days in jail as a punishment. The Super Drunk Driving law, previously passed by the Michigan Legislature, carried a maximum punishment of six months, and thus could not be charged as an ordinance violation. Local city and township attorneys could still have elected to turn the matter over to county prosecuting officials, so that an individual with a BAC of .17 or higher could still be charged under the Super Drunk Driving legislation; however, they were often reluctant to do so because this would mean giving up fines and costs, a high percentage of which would end up in the coffers of the local jurisdictions. Thus, defendants lucky enough to be charged as ordinance violators, until now, have been able to avoid the more draconian punishment associated with the Super Drunk Driving legislation, including a year-long suspension with a restricted license only available for 10 ½ months and only with the placement of an ignition interlock device.
A poor decision to let a friend drive drunk two years ago continues to have repercussions for a man from Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The man and an acquaintance drank together at the maple syrup festival in Vermontville in April 2010, and the man allowed his friend to drive them from the festival in the man's truck.
Crimes are often committed by individuals who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Approximately 80% of these individuals are self-medicating through the use of alcohol/drugs in order to "treat" an underlying mental health disorder. Often times, the individual is not aware that they have a mental health problem. In a recent article, a 17-year old, young man suffered from depression, but he did not understand why. He began to self-medicate by consuming Vodka, and eventually including Vicodin in the mix. Fortunately for this young man, he was not placed in a position wherein he was arrested for committing a crime. However, as we experience in our law firm on a daily basis, the majority of individuals who are arrested for alcohol-related/drug-related crimes, such as DUI, Driving with the Presence of Drugs, Drug Possession or Assault, suffer from a mental illness or have serious emotional problems. If you find yourself in this position, it is imperative that you retain an experienced defense attorney, who will address not only your criminal matter, but your potential mental health issue as well.
Drinking and driving is a serious offense in the state of Michigan. Patrol officers are always on the lookout for people who might be putting themselves and others in danger by their actions on the road. Not even the very people who make the drunk driving laws that apply in Michigan are exempt from following them.
A recent accident involving an off-duty law enforcement officer illustrates the fact that anyone, no matter how powerful or responsible, can find themselves in trouble after being careless on the road. A sheriff's command officer from Macomb County, Michigan, is under investigation in his department for drunk driving in light of an accident last week that inflicted minor injuries on the officer and two passengers--the officer's brother and his son.