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Ann Arbor DUI/DWI/OWI Law Blog

Teen Challenges Michigan's Warrantless Breathalyzer Law

Teen Challenges Michigan's Warrantless Breathalyzer Law.jpgShould the police be required to obtain a warrant to administer a breathalyzer test for minors suspected of drinking or being in possession of alcohol? Michigan high school student Cassie Guthrie believes a warrant should be required. The honor student has recently challenged the constitutionality of a Michigan civil law that punishes anyone under the age of 21 who refuses to submit to a warrantless breathalyzer test. Guthrie claims that the law violates her 4th Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure.

5 Signs You are Too Drunk to Drive

5 Signs You are Too Drunk to Drive.jpgIf you have been out drinking with coworkers during happy hour, or if you are heading home after a holiday party, you may be wondering whether or not you are sober enough to drive. Fortunately, your cell phone may be of use in determining whether or not you should get behind the wheel. You can use your cell phone to call a cab or friend, or request an Uber or Lyft.

Breath vs. Blood Test - Which One Should You Take?

Breath vs Blood Test Which One Should You Take.jpgIf an Ann Arbor police officer believes a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, he/she will request for the driver to take a series of field sobriety tests. Depending on the results of the field sobriety tests, the officer will arrest the driver and take him/her down to the police station or a hospital to administer a breath or blood test.

5 Things You Need to Know About Your DUI Case

5 Things You Need to Know About Your DUI Case.jpgBeing charged and convicted of a DUI in Ann Arbor can result in serious professional and personal consequences. Below is an overview of the 5 things you need to know about your DUI case. Read on to learn more about what may happen to you if charged with a DUI in Ann Arbor.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Ann Arbor

What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Ann Arbor.jpgAfter being arrested for a DUI in Ann Arbor, you will be taken down to the police station for blood alcohol content (BAC) testing. Such testing is usually a breath. Or, you will be taken to a local hospital for a blood test. If your BAC is above the 0.08% legal limit, you will be charged with either a misdemeanor DUI. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may be released on your own recognizance until the arraignment. 

How to protect your rights during a DUI stop

The flashing red lights of a police car in your rearview mirror is unnerving, even if you haven't done anything wrong. It is difficult to know what to do or say, and the wrong decision can have major consequences - especially if you have been drinking.

Understanding what happens during a DUI stop in Michigan can help you make informed choices to protect your rights.

Police are looking for evidence

One of the most important things to understand about a DUI stop is that it is an opportunity for police to collect evidence against you. If they get enough of the right kinds of evidence, it will give them probable cause to administer alcohol testing and possibly arrest you for drunk driving.

Thus, it is in your best interest to avoid giving the police more information than is necessary. Once they are unnerved by being stopped by police, some people's tendency is to curry favor by volunteering information excessively. This can easily backfire.

Instead, you should be aware of your rights and politely but firmly insist on exercising them. Keep these tips in mind if you are stopped by police and questioned about drinking and driving:

  • You can politely decline to answer most questions. Police are likely to ask you whether you have been drinking, how much you had to drink, when you were drinking and other questions. Beyond providing identifying information about yourself, you are not required to answer a police officer's questions and it is in your best interests not to.
  • You do not have to perform field sobriety tests. A number of studies have shown that common field sobriety tests such as one-leg stands or the heel-to-toe walk and turn are designed to be failed.
  • If you have not been arrested, you are not required to submit to a roadside breath test. Police may ask you to voluntarily submit to a preliminary breath test using a handheld device that will measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). You can refuse to take this test. It is important to note the difference between refusing to voluntarily submit to a roadside breath test before you are arrested and refusing to submit to a chemical test once you have been arrested. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test after you have been arrested, you are violating Michigan's implied consent law and you will be scheduled for a hearing separate from your drunk driving charge.

Understand your rights before you are stopped

Knowing your rights ahead of time will help you make the right decisions if you are stopped by police. If you are arrested for drunk driving, it is smart to enlist the services of an experienced DUI defense attorney as quickly as possible. There are a number of missteps that can be made from that point forward. A knowledgeable lawyer can minimize the impact of a DUI arrest.

The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony DUI

The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony DUI.jpgIn Michigan, being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony DUI can result in serious repercussions. It is important to contact an Ann Arbor DUI attorney immediately following an arrest. An experienced attorney may be able to help reduce the charge asserted against you to a lesser offense or have it completely dismissed. Do not delay in obtaining legal counsel and guidance. Read on to learn more about the difference between a misdemeanor and felony DUI in Washtenaw County.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Its Impact on Driving

Understanding Blood Alcohol Concentration and Its Impact on Driving.jpgUnderstanding blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and its impact on driving can be complex. There are several factors that go into determining how much alcohol a person can consume before becoming legally intoxicated. Below is an overview of how a person's BAC can impact their driving.

DUI Probation Violation

DUI Probation Violation.jpgViolating your Ann Arbor DUI probation terms is never a good idea. Not only will you be subjected to being jailed, you may also have to pay higher fines, penalties and additional attorney fees. You will also be subjected to a longer period of probation. Below is an overview of the common ways defendants violate probation and how I can help you. Read on to learn more.

Felony Third DUI Offense - What Ann Arbor Drivers Need to Know

Felony Third DUI Offense - What Ann Arbor Drivers Need to Know.jpgA third DUI offense in Michigan is classified as a felony. A convicted defendant can face serious criminal and administrative license penalties. If you have been charged with a felony third DUI in Ann Arbor, contact my law office for representation. Read on to learn more about what Ann Arbor drivers need to know when charged with a felony third DUI offense.