Judge sentences Detroit councilman for 2nd DUI

A Detroit city council member who was arrested and charged with DUI in June 2014 was sentenced for a lesser included offense of DUI on Jan. 23. His sentence includes seven days in jail, two years of probation, a $2,000 fine, mandatory alcohol treatment and meeting with drunk driving victims.

According to the original reports, the councilman was found by law enforcement passed out behind the wheel of his city car on 8 Mile Road near Southfield Freeway. Reportedly, he had an open bottle of bourbon in the vehicle, and although he told officers he had only taken a sip of the whiskey and had instead been drinking vodka, his blood alcohol concentration allegedly registered at .24, which is three times the legal driving limit.

The jail sentence the judge handed down was half the time recommended by prosecutors. This was reportedly the councilman's second alcohol-related offense, a fact the judge said he found troubling. The councilman was given the option to select when he would report to jail to serve his sentence, and he chose March 13.

People facing drunk driving charges may end up with incarceration, mandatory treatment, probation and the loss of their licenses if convicted. Even if the case is egregious, however, a criminal defense attorney may be able to secure a favorable plea bargain involving a lesser offense than the original charge. The councilman in this case appears to have received the benefit of a favorable plea offer, most likely as the result of significant negotiation by his attorney. When a person's blood alcohol content is high and they have prior convictions, incarceration will normally result. There may be evidentiary defenses available, however, depending on the individual facts of a case.

Source: MLive, "Detroit councilman gets seven days jail for drunken driving", Khalil AlHajal, Jan. 23, 2015