Regular readers of this DUI defense blog can probably remember us discussing Michigan’s “super drunk” driving law. But for new readers, and those curious about the differences defendants face in regular DUI charges compared with “super drunk” DUI, here is a brief summary.
Readers in Lansing may have been following the case of Josh Brent, the former professional football player accused of DUI manslaughter in connection with the death of his teammate and friend in a 2012 car accident. On Jan. 24, Brent was sentenced to 180 days in jail. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison after being convicted two days prior.
A Michigan man is set to go trial soon in another state. He is charged with DUI manslaughter in connection with a 2010 car accident that fatally injured his neighbor. The defendant’s attorney says that the case will go to trial later this year, if a settlement is not reached before then.
A Michigan woman involved in a fatal motorcycle accident will not face felony charges, after prosecutors announced that they could not tell who was at fault in the crash. The woman has pleaded guilty to DUI and one other misdemeanor charge in connection with the incident.
The story of a Michigan woman who is negotiating a plea bargain over drinking and driving charges demonstrates that a guilty plea may be the best course of action in some DUI cases. The woman could face a conviction under the state's "super drunk driving" laws if her case goes to court. Though every defendant is entitled to a trial, the serious punishments available under the elevated DUI law could make a guilty plea in exchange for reduced charges an option worth considering.
A conviction for drunk driving in Michigan can carry serious penalties, even for a first offense. The court may suspend your driver's license for six months, require you to perform up to 360 hours of community service and force you to pay thousands of dollars. Perhaps most seriously, you can be locked up in jail for up to 93 days in jail.
When readers in Lansing think of police and prosecutors targeting people for drunk driving charges, they likely imagine people driving cars, trucks, motorcycles -- heavy, fast-moving gas-powered vehicles. One of the policies behind Michigan's DUI laws is that such vehicles are potentially dangerous if the driver is impaired. But what readers may not realize is that using some motorized tools while legally intoxicated could expose them to criminal prosecution -- even if the public is seemingly not in as much danger.
A man convicted of causing the death of another man in a DUI car accident in another state is asking the court to allow him to receive treatment in a substance abuse facility instead of spending at least four more years in prison. The man and his attorney say that he would be a law-abiding member of society if his prison sentence were suspended, reduced or otherwise amended.
We recently posted about drunk driving charges stemming from the operation of a motorized vehicle other than an automobile. In that case, a man in Indiana was arrested for operating a motorized shopping cart while under the influence of alcohol. Well, closer to home a man was arrested in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, for operating his riding lawnmower while drunk-- he was charged with felony DUI.
It may seem like a car accident involving an intoxicated driver and serious injury to another person would automatically lead to felony charges against the driver in Michigan. But before filing charges, prosecutors must examine the evidence. They are expected to files charges that fit the evidence. This includes situations where the accused drunk driver is not responsible for causing the accident.