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Traffic stop leads to arrest for Ypsilanti man

Last week I posted about the Michigan "super drunk" law that defines a higher level of drunkenness as a blood alcohol level of 0.17 percent. Under the drunk driving laws in our state, a blood alcohol level of 0.17 percent or greater can face harsher penalties than those whose BAC is under that threshold.

Many times it is the driving behavior of a person that attracts police attention. Speeding or weaving in and out of lanes can cause an officer to make a traffic stop. At the time of the stop, an officer can request a field sobriety test if he or she feels that there is a suspicion of drunk driving.

Speeding at a rate of 60 mph on a 35 mile per hour zone is what caused a Michigan man from Ypsilanti to be stopped as he drove near North Maple Road and Echo Court in Saline. Police say that the man was also observed swerving prior to the March 10 traffic stop. These traffic violations contributed to police suspecting that the driver was under the influence.

At the time of field sobriety tests at the scene, the man apparently failed to pass any of the tests given except for the alphabet test. This resulted in an arrest for DUI. After he was taken into custody, blood alcohol tests were arranged at the Saline Police Department. They purportedly resulted in a reported 0.22 percent reading.

Michigan police take drunk driving very seriously and will not hesitate to arrest someone they suspect of DUI. However, police are not infallible. Field sobriety tests can be administered incorrectly, and breath test machines can be improperly calibrated. If either of these are found to be true, the results may be inadmissible in a court trial. It's important to understand that strong defenses can be built to challenge DUI charges.

Source: annarbor.com, "Saline police arrest 'super drunk' driver," Kyle Feldscher, March 12, 2012

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