In anticipation of the start of a busy holiday travel season, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued new drunk driving statistics. With so much attention being paid to reducing the incidence of drunk driving, its important to have a designated driver if you have been drinking and to know your rights in the event you are stopped on a suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to the study, drunk driving crashes are expensive, costing the United States more than $132 billion annually. They also are deadly, accounting for more than one-third of all deaths. Earlier this year, the NTSB revealed that Michigan was one of eight states that have done the least to deal with “hard-core drinking and driving.” Michigan received its poor review based on its failure to implement many of the 11 elements the NTSB believes are needed to stop drinking and driving. Michigan has only adopted two – DWI courts and confinement alternatives.
If you have been detained for drunk driving it is important to contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney to help protect your driving privileges and keep you out of jail. Many time individuals are stopped without the requisite cause for making the stop. Charges may be thrown out or reduced if police officers fail to follow proper procedures in detaining you. Further, where your arrest is based on results of a blood or breath test, the results may be challenged. In some instances a breath test may not be administered correctly, or the machine used to measure alcohol content may not be working property. Additionally, the timing of blood tests may affect your blood alcohol content measurement and have significant consequences concerning whether you are considered over the limit or not. An aggressive Michigan drunk driving defense attorney can challenge test results and seek to have invalid and / or unreliable tests results thrown out. In these instances, it is possible that charges of DUI/ OUI may be dismissed or reduced.
Although the NTSB recommends sobriety checkpoints as a method of deterring drunk driving, Michigan has declared these drunk driving roadblocks illegal under the state constitution. If police or other law enforcement officials lack sufficient cause to stop you, evidence collected as the result of the stop may be thrown out.
If you’ve been cited for drunk driving, potential penalties include fines, jail times and potential driver’s license suspensions and revocations. Michigan’s recently enacted super drunk law increases the potential penalties imposed if a driver has a blood alcohol level of 0.17 or more.
Even with dire reports in the news, Michigan’s traffic deaths from drunk driving have decreased over the last several years, down from 34% in 2009 to 30% in 2010.
For more information, or if you have been arrested on a suspicion of drunk driving, contact the Michigan DUI lawyers at Grabel & Associates for an immediate response.