It probably comes as no surprise to most people reading this article that Independence Day is the deadliest holiday on the calendar for motorists in the U.S. in recent years. This past weekend, several states participated in “no refusal” DUI checkpoints, a controversial initiation in which drivers have no choice but to have their blood tested for blood alcohol content level. Some of the states that participated included Florida, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas. News reports claim that the states and counties that participate have a judge on call to issue search warrants so that blood can be taken and tested.
Over the long July 4th weekend (between Thursday and Saturday) in 2014, 389 people were arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in Arizona, according to a news report at CBS 46. This was an increase of 28 arrests over 2013 in the state. Another report claims that in Houston, Texas (Harris County), 192 people were arrested for suspected DUI – this is in a single county. This county participated in the “no refusal” initiative, perhaps one reason so many people were arrested.
Not surprisingly, many people oppose the no refusal initiative, claiming that it violates Americans’ protection against searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. Gregory P. Isaacs, a defense attorney in Tennessee, stated that “This law really opens Pandora’s box on virtually every DUI stop and weakens all of our fundamental freedoms.”
As seasoned Michigan DUI defense lawyers, we know that people celebrate many holidays by enjoying a couple of beers, a few drinks, or a glass or two of wine. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, choosing to get behind the wheel of an automobile may be a choice you regret. Drunken driving is a serious offense in Michigan and across the nation, and could result in serious or even fatal injury to yourself or other innocent people. Just don’t do it.
Penalties for those found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Michigan vary depending on whether it is a first or subsequent offense, BAC level, age, and criminal history. These penalties range from a few hundred dollars in fines and possible jail time to lengthy imprisonment, community service, vehicle forfeiture, license suspension/revocation, required successful completion of alcohol programs, probation, and more. If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, consult with a highly experienced Michigan DUI attorney immediately.