Recent Drunk Driving Results:
Ingham County Drunk Driving Arrest reduced to Civil Infraction:
Case Scenario: Our Client was stopped for speeding. The Michigan State Police (MSP) Trooper asked the client if he had consumed any alcohol. He denied drinking. The trooper requested that client take a preliminary breath test (PBT), which client declined to do. The trooper continued the roadside detention, repeatedly asking the client to do a roadside breath test. The trooper had client perform field sobriety tests, then requested a PBT for the third time. Our client again refused, was arrested and ultimately charged with speeding, refusal to take the PBT and OWI. Blood was drawn pursuant to a search warrant. Blood alcohol results were .15 (nearly twice the legal limit.) Our client had a prior drinking and driving conviction eight years earlier.
Motions were filed with the trial court arguing there was an illegal roadside detention and that the arrest was illegal. The cruiser videotape was obtained and transcribed. The transcript, as well as the digital video recording, provided support for an allegation that the trooper was untruthful about what he observed on the roadside. The original charges were dismissed in return for client plea to a civil infraction of careless driving.
Discussion: This case demonstrates the benefits of an effective motion practice. It is often the case that the best defenses to a drunk driving prosecution are available during the pre-trial phase. Motions to suppress evidence due to constitutional violations can be difficult to analyze and require a knowledgeable and detail oriented trial attorney. In this case, the motions led to a reasonable settlement discussion and an excellent result for our client. Because the settlement involved a civil infraction, there will be points assessed and possible rate changes for insurance. However, jail time, probation, community service, mandatory classes and a criminal conviction will all be avoided. 102-13