Michigan increases patrols to control drunk driving

According to reports, law enforcement agencies across Michigan were scheduled to beef up patrols in an attempt to crack down on impaired drivers and to enforce seat belt safety. The initiative, known the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, was scheduled to occur as college and university students begin their fall semester and conclude on Sept. 7. The federally funded annual campaign began in 2013 in conjunction with Michigan's Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Those involved in the effort include state and local law enforcement officials and sheriffs.

Individuals in the state who are younger than 21 years of age and who are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol face possible charges under the state's zero-tolerance alcohol law. Although it is against the law in Michigan for individuals to operate a motor vehicle while their blood alcohol content level is .08 percent or greater, an officer can detain them if they suspect they are drunk, no matter what their BAC level is. Additionally, an individual who has been taken into custody on first-time drunk driving charges and who possesses a BAC of .17 percent or more may receive significant penalties if convicted.

In Michigan during 2014, drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol were responsible for 319 fatalities. The report also noted that during the Labor Day week of that same year, six fatal car wrecks occurred, five of which were alcohol related.

Facing DWI charges in Michigan is serious and could possibly result in severe penalties such as steep fines and a lengthy jail sentence. A local criminal defense attorney may be able to fight the defendant's charges by examining the evidence and constructing a credible defense. It may even be possible to get the charges dismissed or to arrange a plea deal that could result in reduced charges.

Source: Northville Patch, "If You're Driving Drunk, Expect to Be Pulled Over", Beth Dalbey, Aug. 22, 2015