DUIs Cost More Than Money

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According to the National Highway Traffic Control Safety Administration (NHTSA), “in 2017, 10,874 deaths were caused from drunk driving crashes.” And despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive in the US, Michigan included, with a BAC of .08% or higher, The Michigan State Police (MSP) says that, “tens of thousands of people are arrested annually in Michigan for alcohol-related driving offenses.” But if this large number of car accident deaths caused by drunk drivers doesn’t make them feel guilty enough to stop driving under the influence of alcohol, maybe the financial and legal punishments will.

Fighting the cost and consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be like fighting for the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. The MSP discusses what they are.

Costs And Consequences Of A Drunk Driving Conviction

If BAC is below .17 and this is a first offense:

  • Up to $500 fine.

  • Up to 93 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to 180 days license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

If BAC is .17 or higher and this is a first offense:

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  • Up to $700 fine.

  • Up to 180 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to one year license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program.

  • Ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days license suspension is required to receive a restricted driver's license. Convicted drunk drivers have limited driving privileges, are prohibited from operating a vehicle without an approved and properly installed ignition interlock device, and are responsible for all installation and upkeep costs for the device.

Jay-walking may lead to a slap on the wrist and littering may lead to a small fine, but drunk driving can ruin lives. The irony is that drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Car accidents happen all the time. Drivers can’t 100% stop their cars from slipping on black ice or crashing into a deer that came out of nowhere. But, avoiding drunk driving car crashes is as simple as not driving after drinking alcohol.


Drunk drivers put the lives of everyone on the road at risk when they make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. DUI attorneys may be able to get the drunk driver out of trouble, but the guilt of causing avoidable injuries to innocent people can never be erased. The drunk driving car crash attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help drunk driving victims seek justice for their injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Oberon Day Is Here!

The characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones may be saying, “Winter is here,” but in Michigan, many are saying, “Oberon Day is here!”

That’s right, the summer staple, Oberon Ale is making its return on March 25, 2019!

On March 25, 2019, Oberon Ale will be distributed across the US, and many Michiganders will be swapping out their snow shovels for an ice cold Oberon. Lots of people even wait all year for Oberon to show up on their store shelves and fill their shopping carts to last them all summer. While Michiganders are proud of this Michigan brewed beer and love the citrusy taste, they should also remember to drink Oberon responsibly.

In every state, Michigan included, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher, “yet, 1 person was killed in a drunk driving car crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017,” mentioned by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) People should remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving too. In other words, even having one beer, may impair a person enough that they wouldn’t be safe to drive.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) offers drivers who drink, some safer, legal alternatives than drinking and driving.

Drunk Driving Alternatives

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus.

  • Stay overnight.

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Oberon Day is a chance for all Michigan beer lovers to kick off their winter boots and to slip on sandals and sunglasses all while dreaming of the cool breeze of spring and the heat of summer after dealing with the long, frigid, Michigan winter. On the other hand, there is nothing cool about drunk driving, and it’s certainly not a breeze if a driver is pulled over for driving while intoxicated. Whether a group of friends are heading to their local bar to fuel up on Oberon Ale, or even stop at their local grocery store to pick up a 24-pack, they will need to figure out how to get home safely. Drinking and driving may result in a DUI arrest, paying a mountain of fines, and dealing with astronomical legal fees. And they definitely don’t have Oberon in jail!


Drunk driving is never ok. And causing a drunk driving car crash is worse. Drivers who fail to follow the law are putting themselves and everyone else on the road, at risk. The Michigan Law Firm, PC attorneys are available to help victims injured in drunk driving car accidents. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

A DUI Could Cost You A Pot Of Gold This St. Patrick's Day!

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Time to break out the “Kiss me I'm Irish” t-shirts, green beer, and your great-grandma Brigid’s secret corned beef recipe! Whether you plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s day by drinking copious amounts of Guinness and shots of Jameson during a pub crawl or by taking the family down to Corktown, everyone should plan how to get home safely, before they start to party.

St. Patrick's Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the St. Patrick's Day holiday period from 2012 to 2016 saw the loss of 269 lives due to drunk driving crashes. “In 2016 alone, 60 people, 39% of all crash fatalities, were killed in drunk driving crashes over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.” Also, on March 18, 2016, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the NHTSA reported that 69% of crash fatalities nationwide involved a drunk driver.

It’s clear that St. Patrick’s Day is turning into a holiday where most people tend to celebrate who can drink the most and care less about the cultural and religious aspects of it all. These people should take safety precautions before they take part in this year’s festivities. And they don’t need to rely on the luck of the Irish to stay safe, because the NHTSA offers partygoers several tips on how to stay safe this St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day Drunk Driving Safety Tips

NHTSA encourages everyone to take the following safety precautions:

  • Designate a sober driver or have an alternate transportation plan before the party begins.

  • If you don't have a designated driver, you can use NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

  • Never let a friend drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home.

  • Don't ride in a vehicle with an intoxicated driver.

  • Always buckle up. It's your best defense against drunk drivers.

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If you’re hosting a party:

  • Make sure all your guests designate their sober drivers in advance.

  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.

  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and keep serving non-alcohol drinks and food.

  • Take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving after drinking and get them a ride home.

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served alcohol to ends up in a drunk-driving crash.

Every year, The Michigan State Police (MSP) warn drivers that extra police will be on patrol, looking for impaired and aggressive drivers. Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, the MSP participated in an international traffic safety initiative known as Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for “Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts.” Michigan State Police director Kriste Kibbey Etue stated, “the department encourages safe driving and won’t tolerate drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” The initiative was put in place for police to team up to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from dangerous driving behaviors during holiday festivities.

So, drunk drivers may have a better chance at finding a four-leaf clover than they do getting away with drunk driving this St. Patrick’s Day! But in the interest of the safety of everyone on the road, and so that no one’s fun gets spoiled, St. Patrick’s Day celebrators should plan their safe passage home before they start to drink.


Since St. Patrick’s Day is one of the drunkest holidays, drunk driving car crashes are very likely to occur. Drunk driving car crashes are completely preventable but unfortunately, they still happen. The car crash lawyers at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help people handle the legal aftermath of drunk driving car crashes so that victims can focus on healing from their accident injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Get A Date, Not A DUI, This Valentine's Day

Being handcuffed and placed into the backseat of a police car for drunk driving can kill the romance of a Valentine’s Day date in a second.

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Picking out the most attractive outfit, spraying the most fragrant perfume, and finding the perfect dozen red roses are, of course, important parts of preparing for the perfect Valentine’s Day date. But the plan that matters most is how to get home safely after drinking a bottle of bubbly or a few Valentine-themed cocktails.

In 2014, a BACtrack report found that, “14 of the 15 biggest drinking days of the year, all of which have an average BAC of 0.08% or higher, fall between December and March.” Of these holidays, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd drunkest holiday! What is even more astonishing is that, “the day after Valentine’s Day had a high of 0.092% BAC.” So, while some people are venturing out to Meijer for 50% off Valentine’s Day candies like heart-shaped Reese’s cups and chocolate covered strawberries, others may be hitting the road after a few glasses of red wine left over from the night before.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 there were 10,847 deaths caused by drunk driving, and, “in every State, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, yet one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash every 48 minutes in the United States in 2017.” With Valentine’s Day falling on a Thursday this year, many individuals may want to drive home after their night of celebrating so they can wake up early and drive to work the next morning. These potential drunk drivers should know that not only are they putting themselves and others at risk of drunk driving car crashes, but they may also be endangering their driving record. The Michigan State Police (MSP) found that “annually, tens of thousands of drivers are arrested in Michigan for alcohol-related offenses.”

The MSP has a few suggestions on how to avoid drunk driving car crashes. People enjoying Valentine's Day festivities can adapt these tips to their plans to stay safe this tomorrow. After all, the police station drunk tank isn’t the ideal venue for a intimate date and you don’t want to blow your date budget on bail money!

How To Avoid A Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving

  • Designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol. An Uber driver, particularly an Uber Black driver, is technically a chauffeur right? And chauffeurs instantly make a date feel classier and allow couples to converse in the back seat instead of having to focus on the road.

  • Call a friend, cab, ride service, walk, or take the bus. Aren’t midnight strolls in the moonlight the height of romanticism? So, picking a restaurant near the house will give couples the chance to pick out constellations on the walk home after dining and drinking.

  • Stay overnight. Similar to bringing over a sleeping bag to a friend’s house to crash after a rager, one way to safely drink without limitations on Valentine’s Day, is by staying the night at a hotel. Some upscale hotels even have 5-star restaurants located inside, so the only drunk traveling to worry about is walking to the nearest elevator. Take the Shinola Hotel in Downtown Detroit for example. Inside the hotel is the San Morello restaurant, but if you don’t want Italian, there are dozens of other dining options in walking distance!

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Of course, the easiest way to avoid drunk driving on Valentine’s Day, is to just not drink! Isn’t the sugar high from the candy hearts, smarties necklaces, and the decadent dessert from dinner enough to keep people hyper?! Drunk driving car crashes can occur just as quickly as it takes Cupid to shoot an arrow. So, stop and smell the roses (bouquet) on Valentine’s Day by having a drink or two, but don’t let drunk driving become a thorn in your side!


Choosing a piece of chocolate from a newly opened, heart-shaped box of Russell Stover’s chocolate may be a difficult task, but choosing a law firm to represent a drunk driving accident victim can be very easy. The Michigan Law Firm, PC helps those who have been injured in car crashes identify and receive any benefits they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us a 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation.

A Play by Play To A Safe Super Bowl Party

Is everyone ready to see the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams duke it out this Sunday, during the Super Bowl?! What should go on a Super Bowl Sunday checklist? Chips? Check. Dip? Check. Designated driver? Check!

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According to a study conducted by BACtrack, Super Bowl Sunday is the 2nd drunkest American holiday! To many Americans, football is a religion and the Super Bowl is the holiest holiday. And one of the ways to worship during the Super Bowl is by consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Celebrations involve red solo cups filled with alcoholic mixed drinks, bottles of Bud Light wrapped in a lucky koozie, fancy craft brews in snifter glasses, and even carafes of wine. And if you need to calm the fire in your mouth after eating a hot wing, there are jello shots. Plus with drinking games in which everyone takes a shot when there’s a touchdown or when an announcer says a specific word, there is a lot of alcohol being consumed during a Super Bowl party!

Unfortunately, the buzz from the thrill of the Big Game can wear off long before the buzz of the alcohol. After all, the game is on Sunday evening and people have to work the next day. And especially if your favorite team loses, you may want to get home as soon as possible. But Super Bowl partygoers need to remember that, “drunk driving kills.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, “In 2016, there were 10,497 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drunk drivers.” Since the Super Bowl is the 2nd drunkest holiday of the year, many drunk driving car crashes are likely to occur. In order to prevent drunk driving car accidents, the NHTSA offers drivers a play by play on how to drive safely on Super Bowl Sunday.

How To Avoid Super Bowl Drunk Driving

  • Known the Rules: It’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. When it comes to drinking and driving, law enforcement doesn’t throw a yellow flag; they throw the book at you. You’ll get pulled over, arrested, and prosecuted. Your wallet takes a big hit, too: the average DUI court case cost approximately $10,000.

  • Play It Safe: Defenses win championships; your best defense is to plan a safe ride. From buses and trains to car services and designated drivers, connect with the option that will get you home safely. NHTSA even has an app for the-SaferRide-which is available for Apple and Android devices and can connect you to a local cab company or with a friend who can come pick you up.

  • Be a Party MVP: Volunteer to be a designated driver. Let your squad know that you’ll be there for them when the party’s over with a safe, sober ride home. (You can even tweet their names to @NHTSAgov to make them part of the NHTSA’s Wall of Fame. Use the hashtag #designateddriver.)

  • If You’ve Been Drinking, You’re Benched: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. There’s no place on the road for anyone who has been drinking. If someone tries to drive after drinking, tell them to ride the bench until you help them find a sober ride home. If you’re hosting the party, you’re the head coach. Make the right call: take their keys before they drink and drive.

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The Super Bowl will end with one team winning it all, but by not engaging in drunk driving, everyone can win. Sure, a shiny trophy signifying a football season full of hard work and dedication is nice, but drivers should avoid the shiny prize of handcuffs signifying a night of bad drunk driving decisions. People planning to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl should sober up before leaving the party, celebrate at home, find a designated driver, or call an Uber or Lyft. Drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Drunk driving car accidents ruin the lives of the drunk driver and anyone they injure in a car crash. Drunk driving attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC, seek to help victims injured in drunk driving car crashes identify and collect benefits and compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan drunk driving lawyer, call 844.4MI.FIRM.


Study Shows: Teens And Parents Unaware Of Drugged Driving Dangers

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A new study published in Forbes raises concerns about how much knowledge drivers have when it comes to drugged driving. A recent study regarding teens and marijuana use found that one-third of teens think it’s legal to drive while under the influence of marijuana in states where marijuana is legalized. While this could be written off as teenage ignorance, 27% of parents surveyed thought the same thing. To be clear, it is absolutely not legal to drive after consuming marijuana.

2,800 teenagers and 1,000 parents were surveyed and the results of the study highlight a common phenomenon that can be seen across the United States - drivers are well aware of the dangers that come with drunk driving, but the consequences of drugged driving are much less clear. Driving after consuming drugs just isn’t seen as being as dangerous as drunk driving! 88% of teens said driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous, but only 63% said the same of marijuana. The surveyed parents rendered similar results, with 93% recognizing the dangers of alcohol, but only 76% recognized the dangers of marijuana.

While drivers may not be as informed about the dangers of drugged driving, they are still very real. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of fatally injured drivers in 2015 tested positive for drugs. This is higher than the 37% of fatally injured drivers found to have alcohol in their system. Of those drugged drivers, 35.6% tested positive for marijuana. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 11.8 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of illicit drugs. Men were found more likely to drive under the influence of drugs than women, and drivers ages 18-25 were more likely to drive drugged than drivers 26 and older.

Marijuana, in particular, can slow reaction time, impair judgement of time and distance, and decrease coordination, which is why driving under the influence or marijuana risks car accidents. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, driving under the influence of marijuana can also lead to lane weaving and altered attention to the road. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) shows that 2015 saw a 47% rise in the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana. Driving while under the influence of marijuana increases the driver’s chances of being involved in a car accident by 25%.

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While it is clear that drugged driving is an issue, it is also clear that much more research is still needed. The NHTSA admits that they, “still have much to learn about how illegal drugs and prescription medicines affect highway safety.” This is likely because of how difficult it is to gather data on drugged driving accidents. Currently, there is no good road side test (such as a breathalyzer) for drug use. (Michigan even tried to implement a roadside drug testing pilot last year, but progress has been delayed.) On top of that, there are hundreds of drugs that drivers could be using, and they all vary in how much they impair the driver and how likely they are to cause a car crash. It is also common to find that drivers have consumed a combination of different drugs and alcohol, making testing difficult. Often, police won’t even test for drugs if the driver’s BAC has already been found to be over the legal limit. All of this means that further research and protocols are needed when it comes to collecting data on drugged driving.

Better collection methods and more data are clearly needed in order to fully understand the dangers of drugged driving, but there is more than enough data to know that drugged driving is dangerous. As more states move to legalize marijuana, there could be confusion on this issue when there really shouldn’t be. While using the drug may be legal, driving after using it is not. Like alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, impair the driver, not only putting the driver at risk of a car accident, but also the lives of other people in the car, other people on the road, and innocent bystanders.


Drugged driving is illegal and very dangerous. Driving under the influence puts the driver and others on the road, at risk of being involved in a car crash. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident due to a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free legal consultation.

Oberon Release Day Is Here!

Some people call it the taste of spring, but most just call it Oberon. For those who have not been exposed to the delicious beer, Oberon is a beer made by Bell’s Brewery of Kalamazoo that is a mix of wheat and wild fruity aromas. This beer is a Michigan staple that has been making its way around the country and creating an enthusiastic fanbase. It is set to hit shelves and local bars again, today on March 26! Because Oberon is a seasonal beer, that is only on the shelves and bar taps for six months in the State of Michigan, people around the country and Oberon celebrate the day Oberon is released as a holiday!

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Oberon celebrates Oberon Day with festivities at local breweries that sell their beer, which include locations in Ann Arbor, Bay City, East Lansing, and Kalamazoo. Oberon fans will be delighted with the bountiful pub crawls that will be taking place to celebrate Oberon Day. Oberon Day isn’t a night time event either. These events, pub crawls, and festivities will be taking place all day. Ann Arbor’s pub crawl starts at 11AM, and the last bar on the list is at 8:30PM. Where in Kalamazoo, at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, their celebration starts at 9AM for fans who are ecstatic to drink the seasonal brew.

Laura Bell, CEO of Bell’s Brewery said, "We will continue to push the boundaries and celebrate what makes Bell's unique and innovative. As with this year's release calendar, we still reserve the right to announce a few surprises here and there."

This is indeed a big year for Bell’s Brewery, as they plan to release four new beers throughout the year. The first of the lineup is Road to Hell, which will be released in July, followed by Hell Hath No Fury in September, Sympathy for the Devil in November, and a re-release of Sparkleberry Ale which is a fan favorite ever since it debuted at Kalamazoo Pride in 2013. It’s a Belgian-style Tripel brewed with raspberries, and will be released in June.

While many may be excited to take part in the Oberon Day festivities, it’s important to remember to drink responsibly. Drinking all day and into the night can severely impair anyone’s judgement. As such, those who are celebrating Oberon Day should take measures to ensure that they won’t be drinking and driving. Oberon Day is an event people greatly look forward to every year and driving under the influence and causing a car accident may have people celebrating next Oberon Day behind bars.


Drunk Driving car accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death. The Michigan Law Firm, PC specializes in cases that involve all types of motor vehicle accidents. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car crash, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PC by calling 844.4MI.FIRM today for a free consultation.

Valentine's Day Drunk Driving Dangers

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Today is one of the most romantic days of the year - Valentine’s Day! In case you didn’t remember, it’s not too late to buy that box of chocolate or grab a bouquet of flowers. For those who did remember, I’m sure many loved ones are in for a wonderful and romantic dinner. Some restaurants even offer special menus that pair special Valentine’s dishes with the perfect corresponding alcohol to enhance the romantic dining experience. Whether dining at the most popular restaurant in town with a three month waiting list or proclaiming love over chicken wonton tacos at Applebees, most lovebirds will be toasting their love with alcohol! To many people, Valentine’s Day isn’t being celebrated properly if there isn’t a champagne toast, a fancy cocktail, or a chocolate stout beer involved. In fact, Valentine’s Day is the 3rd highest drinking holiday in America!

That’s right, Screener says that the amount of alcohol consumed on Valentine’s Day is only topped by how much Americans drink on Super Bowl Sunday and New Year’s Eve. And in fourth and fifth place on that list are the 4th of July and Halloween. Screener obtained this information from BACtrack, which is a company that makes breathalyzers to test a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC). BACtrack performed a study in which they gathered over 100,000 anonymous BAC test results from users of BACtrack Mobile, their award winning smartphone breathalyzer. This information was compiled into the BACtrack Consumption Report, which is regularly updated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 28 people die daily because of drinking and driving. And that is just any other day. However, as shown by the BACtrack Consumption Report, national alcohol consumption is at its peak over the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with eggnog on Christmas or a candy corn jello shot on Halloween, but it’s when driving is added to holiday drinking that there is an issue.

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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 300 people over the past 5 years died in drunk driving automobile accidents between Christmas and New Year’s alone. Combine this knowledge of holiday drunk driving fatalities with information from a 2017 OpenTable survey which found that 71% of people plan to dine out for Valentine’s Day, and it is reasonable to assume that there will be a marked increase in drunk driving auto accidents today. Many couples will be going out to dinner and enjoying a glass or two of wine with their steak or heart-shaped pizza, only to drive home under the influence of alcohol and risk becoming involved in a drunk driving auto accident. It’s important to note that, according to West Virginia University, even one drink may decrease attention span, limit reflexes, and overall hinder a person’s ability to safely drive.

No one wants their special night ruined because of a drunk driving automobile accident. By not drinking and driving this Valentine’s Day, you can be sure that you are not causing a drunk driving car accident. Just because you’re not drinking and driving though, doesn’t mean that others aren't. Considering how many more people are on the road than usual on Valentine’s Day, and how many of those people have possibly consumed alcohol, it only makes sense that the number of drunk driving car crashes will increase today.

TABC Certification has several suggestions on how to avoid being involved in a drunk driving automobile accident this Valentine’s Day:

How To Avoid Valentine’s Day Drunk Driving Car Accidents

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  • Hire a private car for the evening - Not only is this safer, but it also shows how much you appreciate your partner when you hire a chauffeur for the evening so you can enjoy drinking without guilt.

  • Stay at a hotel - If you want to avoid driving altogether, consider staying at a hotel with a well-reviewed restaurant. That way, you can drink as much as you want before heading up to your room.

  • Create a unique night in - Consider staying at home for Valentine’s Day. Send any kids to a babysitter and create your special night in your own home.

  • Choose your own Valentine’s Day - Valentine’s Day is a busy day for restaurants. Consider celebrating Valentine’s Day on a different day to avoid overcrowded restaurants and overpriced taxi prices.

  • Abstain from alcohol - Enjoy the night without alcohol. This is easier if both abstain from alcohol for the night.

Another tip, especially for those who want to stick to a budget, is to use the chauffeur services of ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Even public transportation is a good way to avoid drunk driving, especially if your special night involves more than one activity.


Drinking and driving is never safe. Valentine’s Day should be a time to enjoy with your partner and not your drunk driving accident attorney. Stay safe with your significant other on the road this Valentine’s Day by not drinking and driving. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Investigations Launched After Michigan Cop Is Not Penalized For Drunk Driving

An off-duty Michigan police officer was caught drunk driving, and now he and the officer who stopped him are both facing repercussions. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, early on November 9, 2017, at approximately 12:30 AM, an off-duty Roseville police officer was stopped for attempting to travel south in northbound traffic on Woodward Ave. The Roseville officer was pulled over by a Ferndale officer, and while the Roseville officer allegedly appeared to be drunk, he was not given a breathalyzer, nor was he ticketed or arrested. Instead, the Ferndale officer called his supervisor, and was told to drive the Roseville officer, as well as his passenger, back to the station in Ferndale. Once at the Ferndale station, a Ferndale lieutenant drove the Roseville officer and his passenger home.

Many view this as a case of special treatment-since the drunk driver was a cop, and was not breathalyzed, ticketed, or arrested. Instead, his transgressions were ignored and he was given a ride home. As a result, WXYZ Detroit reported that both Roseville and Ferndale police departments launched internal investigations into the incident on November 17, 2017. More so, the Ferndale Police Department submitted the incident to the city attorney for possible criminal charges. The Roseville officer, should he be charged, would be facing an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge. The Roseville officer is currently suspended without pay, and the names of the officers involved are being withheld as the investigation is ongoing.

The Ferndale police department says that some discretion is always involved whenever a driver is pulled over, and that not all drunk drivers are ticketed or arrested. Ferndale Police Chief Collins said in a statement that, “our jobs are complex and we trust our people to use sound judgment. When somebody makes a call that is unsafe or not indicative of the department’s values and operations, we take that seriously and we act accordingly.”

The Roseville police department will be undergoing a drunk driving education program. Roseville Police Chief Berlin said in a statement, “in this day in age for anyone to drive drunk surprises me; there is a whole list of options to get home like Uber and Lyft. As a police officer you know the consequences. The lack of judgment surprised me."

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2,912 people were killed by a drunk driver between 2003 and 2012 in the state of Michigan. Michigan legislature states that it is illegal to drive while intoxicated, or impaired, by alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescribed medication, and with a bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.

Roseville Police Chief Berlin is right-there are plenty of alternatives to drunk driving. By using a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft, prearranging a designated driver, using public transportation, or calling a taxi, or having any way of getting home that doesn’t involve a drunk person getting behind the wheel, is the best way to avoid getting into a drunk driving car accident. Drunk driving is never OK, and no one should be able to avoid the consequences of committing such an avoidable crime. Drunk driving is a danger to every car and person on the road.


Drunk driving can not only lead to extremely dangerous car accidents, but is also illegal. If you or a loved one have been involved in a drunk driving car crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal cosultation.

Drunk Driving Accident Kills 5

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A fiery car collision from May 9th, 2017 in Oceola Township, Michigan, which took the lives of 5 people, has concluded with murder charges. The Detroit Free Press reported that Matthew Jordan Carrier, age 22 from Fenton, Michigan, was bound over for trial on Thursday, September 21, 2017. This means the judge believes there is probable cause, and the case will go to trial. Carrier was charged with 5 counts of second degree murder. 

Carrier was driving a 2002 Subaru Impreza that belonged to his friend who was also passenger in the car, Justin Andrew-Humberto Henderson, of Fenton, 18. Also traveling in the car were 24-year old Preston Tyler Wetzel, and 23-year old Kyle Eugene Lixie, also both of Fenton.

Carrier says he can recall consuming “most” of a fifth of Smirnoff vodka, but that he was “less drunk” than Henderson, which is why he was driving the car. Officials said Carrier’s blood alcohol content was .15, nearly twice the legal limit in the State of Michigan of .08.

Carrier was driving southbound on Argentine Road, reaching speeds of up to 103 MPH. He ran the stop sign at the intersection of Argentine Road and M-59, colliding with a Cadillac headed east on M-59. Albert Boswell, 39 was driving the Cadillac, and was traveling with his girlfriend,  Candice Lynn Dunn, 35, of Oakland County, her mother, Linda K. Hurley, 69, and her mother’s boyfriend, Jerome Joseph Tortomasi, 73, both of Macomb County. Boswell was the only passenger in the Cadillac to survive the crash. In the Subaru, Henderson and Wetzel were both killed, while Lixie was taken to the University of Michigan Hospital for the injuries he sustained, and was eventually released.

In addition to 5 charges of second degree murder, Carrier also faces 14 other charges, including operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license causing death. Nine witnesses took the stand at the hearing, resulting in these charges. The judge presiding over the hearing said that Carrier’s blood alcohol level, a prior OWI conviction, and other alcohol violations show Carrier had malicious intent, since he had not learned from his previous charges. This malicious intent resulted in second degree murder charges. Carrier is currently being held in the Livingston County Jail. He says he wishes he had died instead of his victims.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Carrier claims he thought he could drink without it being a problem, but when it comes to operating a motor vehicle, this line of thinking is dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,265 people died as a result of drunk driving in 2015 alone. No matter how well you think you can handle your alcohol, or if you’re “less drunk” than your friends, driving while intoxicated is not only illegal, but can also be deadly in the event of a drunk driving car crash. Having a designated driver, using a ride-sharing service like Uber, or having some other back up plan that doesn’t involve a drunk person getting behind the wheel is the best way to prevent being involved in a drunk driving car accident. Think of it this way: If ordering an Uber after a tailgate this weekend seems too inconvenient, does calling your attorney to tell them you were involved in a drunk driving car accident really sound much better?


Drunk driving is never OK, under any circumstances. And while you can make sure that you never drive drunk, you cannot guarantee that others on the road won't drive while intoxicated. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a drunk driving accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. 

Drugged Driving Accidents Increase In Michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Now that opioid addiction has been declared a national epidemic, it should come as no surprise that drugged driving has increased as well. Although drunk driving is still an issue that many police officers and legislators are combating nationwide, the increase in social acceptance of using marijuana and prescribed medications is making driving under the influence of drugs hard to combat. Statistics from the Michigan State Police (MSP) speak for themselves with "fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%."

"Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable, but drugged driving is socially acceptable because people don't think it's a problem...I fault the pharmacists and the doctors. They do not do a good job of educating their patients about these drugs," said Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and We Save Lives.

Drugged Driving Statistics

According to a report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of motorists that have been fatally injured as a result of a car accident are known to have tested positive for drugs in their system. This number that is surprisingly higher than the 37% of drivers that have tested positive for alcohol in their system after a fatal car crash.

Drugged Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Another scary fact, is that unlike drunk driving, drugged driving has been shown to occur at any time of the day, not just at night or on the weekends, like most predictable drunk driving accidents. According to the Detroit Free Press, The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute collected data from 2011 to 2015 in order to prove there was a correlation between the time of day a drugged driving car crash took place and the results of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

"Alcohol-involved crashes are very concentrated late at night and on weekends when bars close, but drug-involved crashes seem to occur at all times of day." said Carol Flannagan, a research associate professor at The Transportation Research Institute.

Drugged driving has grown to be such a major issue on the roads in Michigan that a roadside drug testing pilot has been planned to roll out before the end of this year in 5 undisclosed counties. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed the drug testing pilot program.

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot

Since drugged driving is so hard to convict due to most drivers using drugs that were prescribed to them, Michigan law has allowed for a driver to be legally persecuted if a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) can prove that the drug(s) impaired their driving. The roadside drug testing pilot will only allow for state approved DREs to identify drivers who may be driving while under the influence of an abused substance and request an oral sample that will be sent off to an independent lab to be tested. If a driver is found guilty, legal repercussions include but are not limited to 15 years in prison, community service, and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, according to The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). The reason behind such harsh punishments is to drive home the seriousness of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Detroit DUI Lawyer

The roadside drug testing pilot was influenced in part by a drugged driving car crash took place in Escanaba, Michigan involving a truck driver under the influence of THC, a chemical often found in marijuana. The high driver crashed into an elderly couple,Thomas and Barbara Swift, both 73, on the highway. Thomas died at the scene of the crime whereas Barbara died 3 days later succumbing to her injuries in a hospital. Their son, Thomas Swift, proposed a bill in memory of his parents and Governor Rick Snyder later passed the bill as law.  A second case that highlighted the severity of drugged driving made international news after a driver in a pickup sped erratically in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed 5 bicyclists before police could arrest him. The driver was identified as Thomas Pickett Jr., 50, and was found not to have alcohol in his system as expected, but methamphetamines, painkillers, and muscle relaxers. He was charged with 14 felonies and is facing trial this year.

With data showing that drugged driving happens throughout the day coupled with the knowledge that 10 million Americans, 12 years and older, have admitted in a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that they have driven under the influence of drugs, it is enough to scare anyone away from driving. However, people should have faith that the roadside drug testing pilot, once implemented, will hopefully decrease and deter the number of car crashes caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alchohol. Then, Michiganders will only have to worry about horrible Michigan winters cuasing them road trouble.


It is sad that medications meant to help people handle their illness are oftentimes abused, not only by the prescribed user, but possibly by loved ones too. Until pharmaceutical companies, patients, and lawmakers can come together to figure out how to properly handle this growing epidemic, drugged driving accidents will continue to be a problem motorists face on the roadways. Have you been hit by a drunk driver or a drugged driver? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. With our legal team by your side, you can hope to receive any compensation you may be entitled to under Michigan law.  

Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Car Crash

In July, a 19-year-old man was killed after a suspected drunk driver T-boned him at an intersection in York Township, Michigan, according to the Detroit Free Press. Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, said the car crash happened at the intersection of Bemis and Moon Roads. The 19-year-old was traveling eastbound on Bemis, while the 34-year-old driver of the other vehicle was traveling southbound on Moon. "The victim goes through the intersection," Jackson said. "The suspect runs the stop sign, T-boning him in the driver's side and killing him." 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

The motor vehicle crash in also injured two passengers in the 19-year-old's vehicle. The 34-year-old was arrested, and alcohol is believed to be a factor in the car crash. 

Jackson commented, "We suspect he was highly intoxicated."

Drunk driving is one of many risky driving habits that people exhibit, despite the consequences of potentially enduring or causing injury or death from a vehicle collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015 alone, 10,265 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. That is 1 person killed every 51 minutes, every day of the year. 

The good news is that drunk driving deaths have been cut nearly in half since 1982 through stricter laws, smart law enforcement, and increased advocacy. Yet people are still dying in drunk driving car crashes. With technological advances such as personal breathalyzers and the popularity of ride-sharing, there are no excuses for driving while intoxicated. It is important to remember to drive sober or get pulled over.


Drunk driving is a well-known form of risky behavior on the road, yet this type of distracted driving accident still occur frequently. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a drunk driving car accident, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Record Travel Numbers Expected for 4th of July Weekend

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It’s that time of the year again to put on your festive USA attire, break out the sparklers, and fire up the grill. It is America’s birthday and experts are predicting a record setting number of people traveling for the 4th of July weekend. According to a national survey cited by The Detroit News, 44.2 million people are estimated to be traveling at least 50 miles away from their home. This number comes as a 2.9% increase from last year’s record breaking travel numbers (42.9 million people).

Travel Breakdown

An estimated 37.5 million Americans will be driving to their destinations to celebrate Independence Day. 3.4 million people are predicted to be traveling by air, a 4.6% increase from last year. This marks the 8th straight year in which air travel has been presumed to rise. The survey forecasts that car rental prices will be reduced by 14% and popular domestic flights will be reduced by 10% over the holiday weekend.  

This year’s holiday is classified as a 4-day weekend from Friday to Tuesday.

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Why Is Travel Predicted To Increase?

Fortune states that a growing economy, increased consumer confidence and low gas prices are all factors contributing to the record setting travel predictions. The average U.S. price for gasoline sits at $2.28 per gallon, four cents lower than last year.

Fourth of July Safety

Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year. The holiday accounts for 40% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities in the past 5 years. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the 2015 July 4th weekend, 238 people were killed in car accidents with at least one driver who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08. Given the record amount of people expected to drive to their travel destinations this year, there is a heightened risk that a few individuals will choose to drive drunk over the holiday weekend. Be very cautious of reckless driving and always make the smart decision to drive sober.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2015, over 10,000 people died in drunk driving related accidents. If you have been in a drunk driving related accident or accident of any kind, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM. Speak with an experienced attorney and receive a free consultation. 

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Delayed

Rick Snyder signed a bill in June 2016, instructing Michigan police to create a roadside drug testing pilot program in five counties in Michigan. The criteria for picking the five counties will be based on the number of impaired driving crashes, impaired driver arrests, and the number of Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) in the county. 

Rick Snyder Roadside Drug Testing Lawyer

Why Was The Bill Passed?

The bill was signed because of an incident which took place in Escanaba, Michigan. A tractor-trailer driven by Harley Davidson Durocher, ran a red light and killed Barbara and Thomas Swift. Durocher, was sentenced to 5 years in prison after toxicology reports showed that he had THC, a chemical usually found in marijuana, in his system. After the death of his parents, Brian Swift contacted the Republican senator of Escanaba, Tom Casperson, to create a better way to catch and charge drivers under the influence of drugs. Thus the roadside drug testing pilot came to fruition.

What Does The Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Include?

"The five-county pilot program will be used to help determine accuracy and reliability of the tests." Gov. Rick Snyder said in a press release after signing the bill. 

Reports from the Office of Highway Safety Planning listed Michigan as having 99 certified DRE officers covering 37 counties. Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shannon Banner reassured the public that DRE officers have to undergo “highly specialized training” in order to identify people who are drug impaired. Banner also insisted that the test will only be administered by DRE officers who are employed by the state, county, and municipal agencies involved in the pilot. 

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Banner told MLive that, "In order to receive an oral fluid test, a driver must be suspected of impaired driving -- there will be no random traffic stops or traffic checkpoints. The police officer making the traffic stop must follow established policies and procedures and have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop."

If someone suspected of having drugs in their system while driving refuses to take the oral fluid test, they will acquire a civil infraction, as the new law states. During the course of the year that the pilot program will be running, an independent lab will conduct and confirm the testing to ensure the accuracy of the test kits, along with its handling.  

Who Opposes The Drug Testing Pilot? 

The main opposing force for the bill is Attorney Neil Rockind of Rockind Law, who argues that the bill is setting a dangerous precedent for Michigan motorists to be treated as guinea pigs. Rockind said, “The criminal justice system wants to take science and turn it into a fast, easy utility...science is neither fast nor easy...People are not guinea pigs. No citizen should be the subject of a test program when their liberty and way of life are on the line."

Is The Pilot Underway? 

In an article concerning the rise in traffic fatalities in Michigan, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning Director Michael L. Prince said, "Some trends are emerging, especially with regard to drug-impaired traffic deaths, and our office is aligning resources accordingly. More resources are available to train law enforcement officers in the detection of drug-impaired drivers and OHSP is continuing federal funding for impaired driving traffic patrols throughout the year."

Michigan Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

Prince's comment seems to imply that the roadside drug testing pilot is still under delay even though it was rumored to start in Spring of 2017. In spite of this pilot being able to prevent or at least bring awareness to the 10 million people who choose to drive while on drugs nationwide, the Michigan State Police have yet to finalize the five counties chosen for the pilot. 

When the program is put into effect however, hopefully the number of car accidents involving drug and alcohol use will go down. In the meanwhile, drivers should be extra cautious on the road. Keep clear of drivers who are not following road rules, in order to avoid becoming involved in a car crash. On the other hand, if drivers plan to drink, they should find an alternative way to get home that doesn't involve putting themselves behind the wheel, so they don't harm other innocent drivers.


Once it's in effect, the roadside drug test pilot could possibly cut down the number of accidents and thereby prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by drivers under the influence. If you or someone you know has been in an accident caused by an impaired driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Victims of drunk driving accidents deserve an attorney who will stand by them and fight for their rights. Call us today, 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.