Everyone knows that operating while under the influence can create serious legal problems for people who are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving. Many people may think they know the best way to respond or how they should act to protect their rights. Much of the time, however, this "knowledge" is based on what they have been told by other people instead of on a real understanding of the law.
Drunk Driving Archives
The state of Michigan has seen reductions in the number of people involved in accidents over the Fourth of July weekend. It's important for drivers to be responsible on the roads, but there are options for those who are pulled over by police. A DUI charge is a very serious matter that can lead to severe repercussions when handled poorly. Being a responsible driver and adhering to the law is important, but not everyone who is arrested foe DUI is guilty.
In 2012, nearly 11,000 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in the United States. That's according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the numbers have only gone up. In 2011, 9,865 people died in crashes that involved alcohol. That's a dramatic jump in the number of fatalities in these wrecks. These figures don't even involve the many people who suffer injuries in these wrecks.
Living here in Michigan, it is impossible to separate yourself from the intense rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. Even though that passion burns deep with the fans and the players on gameday, no one on either side of the rivalry wants to see someone from Michigan or Ohio State suffer in their personal life.
Michigan has seen a long decline in the number of drunk driving arrests and accidents in recent years. A recent report by the FBI shows that this decline appears to be part of a welcome nationwide trend. However, other aspects of the FBI report showed at least one area of drunk driving statistics is experiencing a rapid increase, and analysts aren't entirely sure why.
For many Michigan residents, an arrest on suspicion of drunk driving represents the first time they have ever had first-hand experience with the criminal justice system. Many of them find it a frightening and humiliating experience that can harm their reputation in their community.
Under Michigan law, anyone convicted on DUI charges can face tough penalties, but the penalties are much worse for those who have been convicted of multiple offenses. Under Michigan's Habitual Offender law, those who have been convicted of more than two intoxicated driving offenses within seven years will have their driver's licenses permanently revoked.
When Michigan drivers are charged with drunk driving, the results of blood alcohol content tests become very important. When a test shows a BAC level above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, it provides strong evidence that the driver was intoxicated behind the wheel. However, these tests are not necessarily as reliable as many people think they are. They also raise issues of medical privacy, because they are medical tests.
It likely hasn't escaped many people's attention in Wyoming that a Kennedy was recently in the news. This time it was Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Though she works as a human rights activist, the publicity wasn't necessarily good -- many questioned wheter her acquittal on a drugged driving charge was only because of her name.
The American criminal justice system is based, in part, on the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, one of which is the freedom from government search and seizure. There are very specific rules that police and other government agents must follow before they are allowed to enter a home, stop a car or search a person. These rules protect everyone from violations of their privacy and ensure that evidence is gained lawfully. Without this right, criminal justice would be a farce.