Drunk Driving During The Pandemic – How Covid 19 is Affecting DUIs During Lockdown

When Michigan’s governor first told people to “stay home and stay safe”, the DUI numbers here in Michigan (and pretty much everywhere else in the state) dropped significantly. For example, arrests in Lansing were way down. And we weren’t the only state where that happened. In Missouri, 293 people were arrested for drunk driving in March of 2019, but during the same time in 2020 the number of DUI arrests dropped to only 94. In Nebraska the cops only made 4 DUI arrests on St. Patrick’s Day, which was the lowest number that state has seen in over 15 years. And in Hawaii, police made an average of 3 drunk driving arrests per week during March, which is a major reduction on their usual numbers.

A close up of a man's face wearing a mask, with corona virus molecules visible around him.

DUIs went down, but alcohol sales were up during Covid19. What’s up with that?

During the height of the Covid19 pandemic, when people had nothing else to do and nowhere to go, they sat around at home, watching TV and you guessed it… consuming a beverage or two. As a result, there were fewer people getting drunk in bars and restaurants, which meant fewer people jumping behind the wheel after too many drinks. Stats from the Michigan State Police showed that there were 67 car crash deaths in March 2019, compared to the 22 fatal car crashes that took place in March 2020. But “lockdown” didn’t last forever. When the governor lifted restrictions, opening bars and restaurants across Michigan to the public (with some restrictions, of course), DUI numbers in Michigan started climbing again.

The “new normal” doesn’t mean drunk driving isn’t serious business!

A lot has changed during Covid19. Online schooling, working from home, Zoom meetings and wearing masks to the grocery store are all part of many people’s daily reality now in ways they wouldn’t have imagined just last year. But while a lot has changed, some things are no different at all. And that includes drunk driving arrests and convictions. It’s still a very big deal to get arrested for driving while intoxicated in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson and Livingston counties. You will still be looking at a big black mark on your criminal record (which affects job and schooling prospects for the future), and you could still end up behind bars! Other cities and counties are also very serious about OWI cases. Lansing, Charlotte, St. Johns, Howell and MSU police departments are on the lookout for drunk drivers. 

Don’t let a Michigan drunk driving conviction ruin your future!

If we had our say, we’d make sure that no one ever got arrested for drunk driving, or died in a fatal drunk driving crash ever again. However, the truth is that we don’t get to make that decision on behalf of others. What we can do, though, is make sure that if you make a mistake and get busted for a DUI, you can get the best drunk driving defense available in mid- Michigan. Our skilled DUI defense attorneys have decades of experience helping people from all walks of life fight drunk driving charges, and we can help you too. Call 866 766 5245 (866 7NoJail) today to speak to a top drunk driving defense attorney. Covid19 or not, we’re here to help.

Posted in Uncategorized

Driving in Michigan After The Legalization of Weed – It’s a Hazy Subject!

The word "420" made up of lots of tiny little pot leaves.

There was a time in the not too distant past here in Michigan where in order to prove that you were guilty of drugged driving, all they had to do was prove to the court that there was any amount of marijuana in your system while you were behind the wheel. But those days have come and gone. Since the legalization of first medical marijuana, and then later recreational marijuana, a lot has changed with regards to the burden of proof for Michigan’s county prosecutors. 

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Drugged Driving

Can You Really Fool The Breath Test Machine by Putting a Penny in Your Mouth?

A pile of pennies, some old and dark, some new and shiny.

You’ve probably heard a whole boatload of weird urban legends in your time about how to avoid a DUI arrest. Things like carrying mouthwash in your car and using some right before the officer walks up to your window (doesn’t work!). Or another false one that suggests chewing gum can help you fool the breathalyzer (which is actually a DataMaster machine).. But one of the most popular myths when it comes to beating the breath test machine is the one that says you can fool a breathalyzer by sucking on a penny. So is it true?

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Breathalyzers

How Michigan’s Ongoing ‘Breathalyzer Fraud’ Investigation Affects You!

A blackboard with the word "update" written on it, with a person's hand holding a clock

The Michigan State Police are currently investigating the third party vendor (Intoximeters) responsible for servicing and maintaining the 203 DataMaster DMT machines in use across the state of Michigan. DataMaster DMTs are the type of machine Michigan law enforcement uses to breath test potentially drunk drivers once they’re back at the station after an arrest. Although roadside breath tests are used to help officers determine if someone is likely intoxicated, those results aren’t admissible in court. Only the results of the DataMaster test, taken back at the police station or jail, can be used as evidence in court. And now even those are in question

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in For Your Information

Drugged Driving Can Include Driving Under The Influence of Legal Painkillers as Well!

A pile of prescription pills in their packaging.

When people hear about someone being charged with drugged driving, they usually assume that the driver facing charges were high on heroin, cocaine, meth, or some other illegal substance. (And then there’s weed, which is legal to use recreationally in Michigan, but you still can’t drive under the influence!) But what about legal painkillers?

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Drugged Driving

Choose Your Ride: The Catchy Cop Slogan Applies Here in Michigan as Well!

A cop car from Glendale, California that is painted to be half a cop car and half a taxi as a reminder that you can choose one to avoid the other.
These clever cop cars from Glendale, California, are reminding people to choose their ride home from the bar carefully.

Law enforcement officials come up with some pretty interesting ideas to raise awareness of drunk driving these days. From printed coasters left in bars to remind drinkers to call a cab, to the creative ads plastered on billboards during March Madness, it’s always interesting to see what they’ll come up with next. So when we saw this cop car from Glendale, California, painted to look like half a taxi and half a cop car to remind people that they need to be careful which ride they choose. 

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in For Your Information

MSP is Investigating a Vendor For Providing Faulty Breath Testing Services!

An officer standing next to a person in a car, putting the results of a test into an evidence bag.
Countless DUI cases all over Michigan could be affected by this new issue regarding the state’s breath testing machines.

If there’s one thing you can rely on the Michigan State Police for, it’s the fact that when something potentially bad happens that could affect police departments in Michigan, they don’t hunker down and pretend it isn’t happening. They grab it by the horns and fight. It was like that when there were allegations of corruption in the Detroit Forensic Lab, which resulted in an investigation by MSP and a scathing report that got that crime lab shuttered for good. And now that there’s a possibility of corruption by a third party vendor tasked with servicing Datamaster breath testing machines across the state. (Which are the machines that some people call ‘Breathalyzers.) It seems some of the data documenting the servicing of breath test machines around the state is faulty… 

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Breathalyzers

Judge Says Prosecutors Must Disclose Failed DUI Testing Info to Defendants

A clsoe up of a person's ahnds reaching out of a car window to take the cap off a breath test machine that an officer is handing to them.
Breath testing can be a reliable source of info about possible alcohol consumption… but not always! And many factors can affect the results!

A recent important case has set the tone for other, future DUI cases in Michigan after a Lansing district court judge threw out a guilty verdict because the prosecutor didn’t disclose information that might have helped the defendant. This is called exculpatory evidence. It all started back in November of 2018, when 43-year-old Patrick Reynolds of Grand Rapids hit a pole with his car near an intersection in Lansing, Michigan. It was about 2 am, and he had just left the bar and was driving home when he lost control of his vehicle and struck the pole in Ingham County. 

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Breathalyzers

It’s That Time of Year – The Holliest, Jolliest, DUIiest Time of The Year!

A bottle of egg nog and two cups of egg nog next to a Christmas cupcake and a handful of pine leaves and cranberries
A lot more festive get-togethers and Christmas parties means more people drinking and then driving home. Don’t make that mistake!

For most people, when we think of the holidays, we think of giving gifts to loved ones, decorating the Christmas tree, and spending time with family. What we rarely think about is a ride in a cop car, a lonely stint in the local jail, and criminal charges. And yet for many people, that’s exactly what happens! Because believe it or not, drunk driving and drugged driving arrests rise sharply around the holidays.

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Drunk Driving Statistics

New Report Shows That Breathalyzer Machines Are Often Unreliable!

A close up of a police officer handing a driver a breathalyzer test through the window of their vehicle.

The report reveals disturbing info about breath testing in the US!

Drunk driving accounts for hundreds of thousands of arrests every year, all over the country. Here in Michigan, more than 35,000 people are arrested for DUIs every year. That’s a lot of people being pulled over and subjected to breath tests, roadside sobriety tests, and eventually blood work. But what if right off the bat, the data is wrong? What if you get pulled over and breath-tested by the cops, but the Breathalyzer machine (or the Datamaster, which is what we use here in Michigan) is wrong? Will you end up wrongfully accused of being drunk behind the wheel when you’re not? Maybe…

Read more ›

Tagged with:
Posted in Breathalyzers
Ms. Thompson has been our attorney for almost two years. She has handled our unique case with respect and diligence. We are very happy with her services.
Debra on Avvo, 2015

Talk To A DUI Defense Lawyer

call us
email us