On Friday evening February 21, a 28-year-old Kalamazoo man was pulled over by Van Buren County deputies after he was observed stopped at an intersection where a yellow caution light was flashing. The vehicle he was driving also had a headlight that was not working, according to news reports at wwmt.com.
The incident took place in Gobles near Depot and State Streets at approximately 7:30 p.m. The deputy stopped the man to inquire about why his vehicle was stopped in the middle of the intersection, and about the faulty headlight. While talking with the driver, the deputy noticed a strong scent of liquor, and performed a field sobriety test. He found that the man was intoxicated, and placed him under arrest.
While arresting the man on suspicion of drunk driving, deputies discovered a 4-year-old girl inside the vehicle. She was cared for by the deputies until the girl could be picked up by her mother. The man who was arrested was driving the girl’s mother’s vehicle, who was his girlfriend. News reports claim that the man’s alcohol level was nearly three times Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%. It was discovered that he had been arrested for DUI four times prior in the past two years, and was currently in alcohol court in Ionia. The man, who was not identified, is facing charges which include child endangerment and OWI.
In Michigan, individuals found operating a vehicle with a BAC of greater than 0.17% may be charged with super drunk driving. A high BAC offense results in harsher penalties for those convicted, including jail time of up to six months and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. In addition, because the man in this incident has now been arrested for DUI for a fifth time, he will likely face felony DUI charges. A felony drunk driving conviction may result in criminal penalties which include up to 5 years in prison, driver’s license revocation, vehicle immobilization, and more.
In some felony DUI cases, sobriety court is an option that should be explored and allows for the defendant to participate in AA programs and other counseling, focusing on rehabilitation rather than harsh punishment. Regardless of whether it is a first arrest for drunk driving or you are a repeat offender, consult with a skilled and capable Michigan DUI defense attorney immediately when arrested or charged with driving under the influence.