In Michigan, drivers who get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be a significant danger. It is understandable that law enforcement will initiate campaigns to catch these drivers. Still, simply because a person was accused of drunk driving does not mean he or she is automatically guilty. When state legislators and law enforcement make it a point to catch drivers committing DUI, there is a chance innocent people will be arrested and charged. Regardless of the situation, it is imperative to understand the value of a strong legal defense.
Law enforcement will intermittently have “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaigns. The current endeavor pushes “zero tolerance.” Law enforcement has not detailed when the patrols will be held and drivers should be cognizant of the possibility that they will be stopped. Drunk driving is a known problem across the nation. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 29% of road fatalities in 2018 were because of a drunk driver. The summer is especially dangerous with the time around July 4 particularly troublesome for fatal drunk driving crashes.
In Michigan, there were nearly 9,800 accidents due to alcohol in 2019 and nearly 300 deaths. The initiative to stop drivers and check if they are under the influence is occurring throughout the state. The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are hefty. People may expect their costs to reach the five figures before considering jail time and driver’s license penalties. This emphasizes the importance of crafting a viable defense against these charges.
While people are required to drive sober, law enforcement must also adhere to protocol when they are investigating a potential DUI and making an arrest. For example, the breathalyzer machine must be properly calibrated or the results could be inaccurate. The driver might appear to be under the influence but has a viable reason for it and that could be used as part of a defense. To secure a conviction, it must be shown that the driver’s ability to safely operate a vehicle was negatively impacted and they surpassed the blood-alcohol content to be under the influence.
For those who were arrested during the campaign, it remains imperative to understand the fundamentals of a drunk driving defense. A firm with experience in these cases may be able to help reduce the penalties or gain an acquittal. Calling for advice and representation is key.