While everybody makes mistakes, some mistakes have more serious repercussions than others. A Lansing Police Department sergeant made a mistake this summer that resulted in his arrest for drunk driving. The sergeant crashed into a cargo truck after he allegedly drove too fast and took too wide a turn. The officer suffered minor injuries. Lansing police officials say that the sergeant was a good employee, but that they are taking seriously the investigation into the criminal charges against him.
Driving while impaired in Michigan
Individuals facing drunk driving charges in Michigan have many rights at stake if they are convicted. Michigan is tough on drunk drivers, and those accused of the crime need to make sure that they retain adequate legal representation and that the investigation is fair.
There are several types of charges that people accused of drunk driving in Michigan may face. Michigan has a zero tolerance policy towards those not of legal drinking age; drivers under the age of 21 will be in trouble if they operate a vehicle with even a small amount of alcohol in their systems. Another type of charge is Operating While Visibly Impaired. This means that the arresting officer and other drivers on the road can tell just by visual observation that the driver's ability to operate a vehicle is impaired.
There are three categories of driving while intoxicated in Michigan. The first type is operating a vehicle after using alcohol or other drugs when the substances have substantially affected the driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely. The second violation is driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. The third violation is when the driver's blood alcohol concentration is considered high at .17 or more.
Punishments for operating while intoxicated
Those charged with operating while intoxicated can face up to a $500 fine, 93 days in jail and 360 hours of community service. Their driver's licenses will be suspended for 30 days, and their licenses will be restricted for 150 days. They will also be required to pay annual driver responsibility fees of $1,000 for two years. The fines, jail time, licenses suspensions and other punishments increase for second and third offenses. People driving while their licenses are suspended or revoked also face heavy penalties.
If drivers cause death or serious injury when operating a vehicle while intoxicated, they may face between five to 15 years in prison and $1,000 to $10,000 in fines. Their driver's licenses will also be revoked for one year and their license plates will be confiscated.
Individuals charged with driving while intoxicated have many rights at stake that need to be protected. All drivers accused of drinking and driving should contact a criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance through the process and make sure that they are treated fairly.