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Michigan man faces DUI from driving a wheelchair

Usually when I post on my blog, I talk about drunk driving cases involving cars. However, in one recent case, a man was arrested and charged with a DUI after he allegedly took a motorized wheelchair for a ride while intoxicated. This unique incident, which occurred in the city of Utica, resulted in the 55-year-old man's seventh arrest for drunk driving, dating back to 1984.

The man was charged with a DUI offense after he purportedly got into an argument with another local man at a senior living complex where both men live. The argument came to physical blows, so the owner of the wheelchair decided to leave the scene -- on foot. That's when officials say the wheelchair was stolen, leading to one of the strangest Michigan traffic stops in recent memory.

As is often the case in suspected DUI matters, police say that they gave the wheelchair driver a blood alcohol test. The results came back with a 0.241 percent, which is just more than three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent in our state. Authorities subsequently filed a warrant for his arrest, and gave the accused man 10 days to turn himself into authorities.

What many people may not realize is that the penalties the man faces if he is convicted are the same as if he were driving a car or truck. A DUI charge, particularly one involving multiple offenses, can result in severe consequences upon a guilty finding. Like others accused of such an offense in Michigan, the man in this case will be able to present a defense to the claims against him when he appears in court to face the DUI charges.

Source:, "Wheelchair DUI in Michigan," Brett Whitmarsh, June 8, 2012

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