For many in Michigan, the month of March was not a good one. Thousands of drivers were nabbed for various traffic citations, including speeding, uninsured driving and driving on a suspended license. Tickets for these offenses may seem minor, but when points add up on a driving record, that person may lose the privilege to drive. Of all the drivers police pulled over that month, the ones most reported in the press were the 434 accused of drunk driving. Charges of OWI carry severe penalties, and those facing such charges would benefit from a strong criminal defense.
In most states, a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is considered legally drunk. Drivers with a BAC of .17 face even harsher penalties if convicted under Michigan's "super drunk" law. Even a first offense OWI carries consequences such as license suspension, jail time and/or fines, with those penalties enhanced for super drunk convictions.
March's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" operation ran from St. Patrick's Day eve to the end of the month. On St. Patrick's Day alone, police arrested four drivers for OWI, including two who were charged for being super drunk. One driver was arrested for OWI after police pulled him over for a defective brake light.
Drunk driving is a serious offense, and it is true that too many people die in accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. Nevertheless, a driver arrested for OWI has the right to a strong criminal defense, especially since police often make mistakes that violate a driver's rights during routine traffic stops. Having an experienced attorney to assist from the time of an arrest will improve a driver's chances of having a positive outcome.
Source: mlive.com, "Police arrest 434 during Michigan drunk driving crackdown", Brad Devereaux, April 27, 2017