Lawyers hate giving advice to the general public. They feel anxious about generalizations about the law, because people might rely on their advice without consulting them first. When it comes to drunk driving in Michigan. I don’t care if you are a client or I never met you in the past. I will advise you on how to avoid get a drunk driving conviction without having to hire a lawyer. Guaranteed!
There, I said it. When ever you are out drinking with friends and family and you want a guarantee not to get arrested for a OWI or any other drinking related offense, don’t take your drink in your car and don’t drive home. Call a friend or Uber instead. While I will always protect you if you get arrested, I would rather you be SAFE first.
It is not against the law to drink and drive. It is against the law to be impaired or intoxicated due to the consumption of alcohol. In Michigan, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater is the level at which a driver is considered legally intoxicated. According to MADD, drunken driving fatalities with a .08 BAC or higher represented 28 percent (259) of all total traffic deaths in Michigan in 2012. There was a total of 5,471 alcohol-related crash injuries and 10,014 alcohol-related crashes in which the BAC was .01 or higher. Every single one of these could have been avoided if the driver called a friend to drive them or Uber to pick them up.
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Predictably, driving danger is higher than average during holiday periods. The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers.
The facts are grim: in December, 2012 nationwide there were 830 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher; 26 of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. On average, a third (31 percent) of all crash fatalities in America involves drunken driving. But on Christmas day 2012, the percentage jumped to 36 percent. No stats on this year yet.
All these terrible statistics can be avoided! How many times have we all been to a party, wedding, bar mitzvah or just at a bar with friends and know someone had too much to drink? Can you honestly say you have stopped that person from driving? Have you taken their keys away and called a cab or now an Uber? It is hard to stand up to even the people you love, at a time when you yourself have been drinking and not just say,
” Do you feel ok to drive?” Because that is not the criteria. The real question should be, “How much have you had to drink?” And if you are not satisfied with the answer, then you should take control and get them a ride. Even if you have to bring someone else into the picture to save your friend from possibly getting arrested for drunk driving, or worse, an accident that could ruin their lives. Or even another person’s life.
After having prosecuted and defended 1,000’s of people charged with drunk driving, I can share some advice. I have never heard a client say that they would have rather gotten arrested for drunk driving, instead of making a simple phone call for a friend or now a press of a button and magic, Uber can be there. The average person lives just 10 miles from where they are drinking and Uber will take you home for less than $15. Of course all of us make mistakes in our lives, but we can try to protect ourselves against drunk driving arrests and convictions.
If you are in trouble call me. I would rather talk to you BEFORE you need me to get you out of jail. Either way call for any advice.
Scott Weinberg, Esq.