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Does profiling factor into Michigan DUI charges?

Michigan law enforcement officials will soon be cracking down and on the lookout for drivers who may be driving drunk. A statewide campaign has been working to help law enforcement better understand the tricks that drunk drivers use when trying to avoid law enforcement and DUI charges. Because of the way that law enforcement looks for drunk drivers, it is thought by some that they profile.

In order to avoid the alleged profiling practiced by law enforcement, some drivers who suspect that they may be legally drunk try to trick officers. These tricks include avoiding wearing hats while driving and keeping off of the main highways. These tactics may be among the ways that drivers avoid traffic stops that lead to being charged with DUI offenses.

Some law enforcement officers have met with a group of men who define themselves as professional drunk drivers. By asking how the men seek to avoid contact with police, officers hope to learn where to seek out those who have consumed alcohol. In addition, 26 Michigan counties are planning to use the newly gathered information as they increase patrols for the end of the summer season.

A traffic stop by police is often the first contact that a driver has with law enforcement. The driver may believe that they have not had enough to drink in order to be legally drunk, but police may have decided to stop them due to behaviors that fit the profile of a DUI driver. It is important to remember that the mere suspicion of being drunk is not the same of being guilty of the crime. Anyone in Michigan who has been accused of DUI may benefit from the expertise of someone who knows how to fight for the rights, and future, of defendants.

Source:, "Drunken drivers beware: Crackdowns on tipsy travelers begin today in Genesee County," Gary Ridley, Aug. 16, 2012

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