Labor Day weekend has traditionally a time to get together with friends and family and celebrate each others’ company. However, it is also no secret that three-day weekends bring out the partier in many Michiganders, and Labor Day is no exception. According to one report by a local news source, last year there were 10 people who were killed in drunk-driving related accidents. It is for this very reason that Michigan police across the state stepped up enforcement of drunk-driving related crimes over last weekend’s holiday.
Police across the state increased their enforcement efforts over the weekend in the following counties: Alpena, Antrim, Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Cheboygan, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kalkaska, Kent, Leelanau, Livingston, Mackinac, Macomb, Manistee, Marquette, Menominee, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Otsego, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne, and Wexford.
The police focused not only on drunk-driving related activity but also on seat-belt violations.
Drunk Driving Stops in Michigan
Drunk driving is against the law in Michigan and is taken very seriously, as indicated by the increased efforts over the recent holiday weekend. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood- or breath-alcohol level of .08 or greater. While there is no sure-fire way to determine how many drinks it takes for an “average” person to reach the limit, some suggest that three drinks in two hours will put most of us in danger of being legally intoxicated.
In Michigan, those who are convicted of a drunk-driving offense can face substantial fines, community service, and in some cases jail sentences. Subsequent offenses are punished even more strictly than first offenses and will almost certainly result in at least some jail time.
Defending Against a Drunk Driving Charge As is the case with all criminal charges, it is the State’s duty to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Moreover, in many drunk-driving arrests, police make an error that infringes on the defendant’s constitutional or statutory rights. In these cases, the defendant may be able to suppress the evidence that was associated with the stop, such as the blood- or breath-alcohol test results. Without the test results, there is little to nothing left to prove that the defendant was drinking and driving.
While this may sound like a “loophole” to some, these are rights that are provided in the United States and Michigan Constitutions and are well-respected by judges across the state.
Have You Been Arrested for a Drunk Driving Offense? If you were caught drinking and driving over the recent holiday weekend, you could be facing serious jail time and substantial fines. Make sure that you do all you can to ensure that the charge has as little impact on your future as possible and speak to a dedicated Michigan criminal defense attorney about what defenses you may have to the charge. Even in cases where there is not a strong defense, an experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate the criminal justice system in hopes of securing a favorable plea bargain or a light sentence. Contact us by calling (240) 930-5019 to schedule an initial consultation with an attorney today.