Usually the police do the arresting for DUI in Michigan.
But sometimes a law enforcement officer is on the receiving end of a drunk driving charge.
That happened in 2012, when a former commander at a Michigan State Police post in the Upper Peninsula was arrested after crashing his vehicle in Chippewa County. He was subsequently demoted to sergeant and assigned to a post in the Lower Peninsula.
In July his drunk driving case went to trial, where a jury found him not guilty after a three-day hearing, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The case took a winding path to its eventual conclusion. The charge was initially dismissed due to a problem with a search warrant for a sample of the officer’s blood. But it was reopened in November 2012 when a different prosecutor took over.
Six Things to Know About DUI in Michigan
Drunk driving is a serious offense. The penalties are even more severe for repeat offenders.
Here are some things you should know about the DUI legal process in Michigan:
- Michigan imposes an automatic administrative license suspension if you refuse a blood alcohol test. This constitutes a violation of the implied consent law. Your license will be suspended for one year unless you demand a hearing to challenge it within 14 days of your arrest.
- Not showing up for a court hearing could have disastrous results. A bench warrant can be issued for your arrest. In addition, you could also end up waiving certain legal rights, not to mention looking bad in the eyes of the prosecutor and the judge.
- Repeat DUI offenders face revocation of their driving privileges, fines, incarceration and possible seizure of their vehicles.
- If you have two prior convictions of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating while visibly impaired or violation of the Zero Tolerance law and are charged again with an alcohol-related offense, you may be looking at a felony charge. This could mean imprisonment and thousands of dollars in penalties.
- Michigan has special laws for motorists who drive on a suspended or revoked license. You may be charged as a repeat offender if you have had three or more convictions of driving while your license is suspended or revoked within seven years.
- Repeat offenders may be required to have an interlock ignition device placed on their vehicle. The device will not allow the driver to start the car if it detects alcohol on his or her breath.
Have you been charged with drunk driving or some other alcohol or drug-related offense? Don’t take chances. Contact a knowledgeable Michigan DUI defense lawyer for a free consultation.
- Detroit Free Press