Medical or Not, Marijuana May Impair Drivers

In Michigan, more than half of medical marijuana users have admitted to having driven under the influence of marijuana within two hours of using it.

Detroit DWI Lawyer

This information was found in a study conducted by the University of Michigan Addiction Center and published in the Drug & Alcohol Dependence Journal. Researchers noted that roughly 270,000 people have state approval to use medical marijuana for pain, nausea, epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and for other medical reasons in the State of Michigan. 790 medical cannabis users in Michigan were surveyed and it was found that 56% reported driving within two hours of using cannabis and 51% reported driving while, "a little high" and 21% reported driving while, "very high." 1 in 5 individuals even admitted that they have operated a vehicle while being under the influence of marijuana once in the past six months.

Why is driving under the influence of marijuana a bad thing? After all, it’s prescribed by doctors for suffering patients! Well, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, according to the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), “driving while impaired by any substance, including marijuana, is dangerous. Marijuana, like alcohol, negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving.”

In July 2018, WWMT Kalamazoo reported that 2 newlywed Michiganders were killed in a car crash when a driver sped through a stop sign and crashed into their vehicle, pushing into another lane, causing them to be struck by a third vehicle. 2 of the 3 occupants of the vehicle involved in the car accident had medical marijuana prescriptions. This doesn’t mean that the at-fault driver was under the influence of marijuana but, “Investigators said the medical marijuana cards found at the scene of the crash complicate their case and the charges the at-fault driver will face.” Allegan County Sheriff Capt. Chris Kuhn, believes investigations can become very puzzling for law enforcement and the establishment of testing procedures or blood levels to suspect the impairment of a driver. “Even with a medical marijuana card, it is illegal to drive with active levels of the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana in your system, but there is no legal limit to say what’s considered, high,” Kuhn said.

No tests currently exist for law enforcement to measure marijuana impairment of drivers, so field sobriety tests have been adapted from their use in detecting alcohol-impaired drivers. Research conducted in the HLDI study suggests however that field sobriety tests designed to assess alcohol-impaired drivers are only moderately successful at detecting impairment from marijuana.. The study also suggests that, “this ineffective enforcement may encourage drivers to engage in driving under the influence of marijuana, because they think they can get away with it.”

While the presence of marijuana initially complicated the investigation of the fatal newlyweds car crash, toxicology reports later uncovered that the at-fault driver had both alcohol and marijuana in his system while operating his vehicle.

Detroit Marijuana Lawyer

Over 50% of Michigan drivers have been driving while under the influence of prescribed medical marijuana, according to the University of Michigan Addiction Center. Although the causal link between marijuana use and car crash risk remains unproven, the consistent pattern of findings in the CDC’s research suggests that car crash rates do increase when drivers use marijuana. Driving in Michigan is dangerous enough with all the potholes and poor road conditions causing car accidents, so adding drugs into the driving mix makes car crashes even more likely to occur. Just as people know they shouldn’t drink and drive, they should know not to smoke and drive, even if they’re using marijuana for medical purposes.


Medical marijuana has been prescribed to over 270,000 individuals in the State of Michigan, and now, as of January 2019, Michigan has become the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use for individuals 21 and older. While many citizens are overjoyed at this new legislation, the legalization of marijuana may lead to more impaired drivers and more car crashes. The Michigan Law Firm, PC, helps victims who have been injured in a medical marijuana car crashes, and help to identify and receive any compensation they may be entitled to under Michigan law. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation regarding your car crash.

(Legally) Get High But Don't Drive

Michigan Marijuana Lawyer

On November 8, 2018, Michiganders made some sweeping changes in the Great Lakes state when they went out to the polling stations. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected Governor, hourly minimum wage was increased from $10 in 2019 to $12 in 2022, and legislative district lines will be re-drawn! Also, an awesome number of women were elected to the US Senate, US House, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan House of Representatives, and for the first time in Michigan history, all of the top Michigan offices of Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General!

Perhaps the most controversial and astonishing result of this election was the victory of Proposal 1, the legalization of marijuana, with a 56% - 44% margin! As such, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana. But before people start to search Google Maps for the nearest hydroponic shop or post pictures of themselves lighting up on Facebook or Instagram, they should know that it may be a few years until they can commercially grow or purchase marijuana. While smoking marijuana is now legal, residents likely won’t be able to legally buy recreational marijuana until early 2020.

It should be clarified however, that Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, so the proposal that just passed governs, “the personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.” So, what does adult recreational use of marijuana entail? Well, The Detroit Free Press discusses the new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

Michigan’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

  • Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.

  • Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.

  • Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

While many are celebrating this new legislation, Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana may have negative consequences. Marijuana legalization may result in increased crime, abuse of the substance, and even more car accidents. A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, which have legalized recreational marijuana, were associated with a 6% increase in collision claims compared with 5 neighboring states that did not legalize the drug. According to the study, “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, “results from simulator studies suggest that consuming marijuana increases lane weaving behavior and interferes with drivers’ ability to maintain a constant headway.”

Michigan has already been seeing some marijuana car crashes. On January 20, 2019, a driver under the influence of marijuana crashed into a parked Michigan State Police trooper who was responding to an accident on I-75. According to a local report, the 26-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and was taken to the hospital for a blood test. The driver admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and was issued a DWI.

With new laws come new responsibilities. Michigan drivers should know that the legalization of recreational marijuana doesn’t mean they can get high and drive. Most people know better than to drive under the influence of alcohol, so since marijuana is a psychoactive drug, they should know better than to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving while impaired under the influence of any drug can cause car accidents! In fact, other states that have legalized marijuana have seen an increase in the number of marijuana car accidents, so there may be an increase in Michigan marijuana car accidents soon. And instead of calling a lawyer to get them off of a drug charge, Michigan marijuana smokers may soon be seeking marijuana car crash legal representation.


People typically don’t call attorneys for good reasons. Being hit by a driver under the influence of marijuana, or worse, being the impaired driver who causes a car accident, is a terrible circumstance in which to call a lawyer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC recognizes that calling a lawyer and dealing with a marijuana car accident case can be a tough process. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with all types of car crash cases and help clients make the legal process as easy as possible. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan marijuana lawyer, call us at 844.4MI.Firm.

Study Shows: Teens And Parents Unaware Of Drugged Driving Dangers

Michigan Drugged Driving Lawyer

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%.

Detroit DUI Lawyer

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.

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.  

Study Claims Midwesterners Are More Likely To Drive Drunk

Detroit Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyer

As exciting as Oberon season is for Michigan residents, some people might need to consider cutting back, especially if they plan on driving. According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people who live in the Midwest region are most likely to drive drunk. An estimated 30% of drivers in the Midwest admitted to driving while inebriated. The three leading Midwest states are Nebraska, North Dakota, with Wisconsin and Iowa tied for third. Though Michigan ranks near the bottom of the region, the rate of self-reported alcohol-impaired driving episodes is still a whopping 497 per 1,000 people. Therefore, Michiganders should keep the beer at the lake and the tailgate, and make other driving arrangements if they find themselves drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Following the Midwest in the study is the Western region, with an estimated 20% of driving respondents admitting to driving while intoxicated. The Northeast region comes in at the lowest with about 11.3% of admitted drunk drivers. If Boston sports fans can pull themselves together and make the responsible decision to not drink and drive, we Detroiters need to step up our game!

The drunk driving study goes on to reveal that the majority of those drivers who admit to driving drunk are between the ages of 21 to 34. Another factor in the study was the number of binge-drinking episodes a person had undergone. Binge-drinkers admitted to drinking four alcoholic beverages a month, accounting for 85% of alcohol-impaired episodes. This is an alarming number, especially when taking into account the risk for severe injury or fatality from being involved in a motor vehicle accident where drunk driving was the cause.

Simply having just two drinks can affect a person's judgment. The CDC states that having a blood alcohol content of 0.2% can affect anyone's ability to perform two tasks at the same time, as well as cause a change in mood and a decline in visual functions. Having three drinks can affect muscle control, reduce coordination, lower alertness, and a release of inhibition. All the more reason to just stay sober if one plans on driving home.

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The important distinction to make here is that driving after any amount of drinking is not a good idea. Most of the public doesn't consider buzzed driving to be drunk driving due to their belief that a few drinks doesn’t impair their judgement. These people do not realize that it only takes one drink to impair a person’s ability to drive. The CDC's drunk driving study has highlighted the gap of misinformation and lack of education the public has when it comes to drunk driving. With 28 people dying every day from intoxicated drivers, police officials and communities are informing people about the serious consequences for alcohol related car accidents on the road. 

Michigan has a lot to be proud of, but being a member of the most-likely-to-drive-drunk region is definitely not an honor. If a person plans to drink, they should take safety precautions beforehand to help reduce the number of drunk drivers in the Great Lakes State. Calling a taxi or an Uber, or taking turns among friends to be the designated sober driver are some safe driving methods to lessen the number of drunk driving car crashes. Tigers fans may have to duck out after the 7th inning, but at least everyone can count out causing a drunk driving accident on the way home.


Buzzed driving is drunk driving. The best practice to avoid getting a DUI and to avoid being involved in a drunk driving car crash, is to avoid driving even after consuming just one drink. If you have been drinking, have a designated driver ready, take public transportation, or call for an Uber or a friend, to avoid any fatal drunk driving accidents. If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a drunk driving crash, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our firm is experienced in handling accidents caused by negligent drivers. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Fourth Of July Travel Safety Tips

Michigan Injury Lawyer

As the Fourth of July, one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, approaches, many American families are preparing to travel to celebrate this patriotic day. Thousands of people take to the roads on Independence Day, contributing to what U.S. News describes as “the busiest summer travel holiday.” This year, the holiday weekend will extend longer than normal, from Friday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 4th, when AAA Travel says a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home. As a result, drivers need to extra careful when traveling on the roads over the longer weekend, since other drivers may have over-indulged in celebratory beverages at barbecues and parties.

To avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident, travelers may want to follow the Fourth of July Travel Safety Tips below, recommended by TODAY:

  • Follow basic safety practices. Wearing seatbelts, using helmets, being mindful of speed limits, and remembering to not drink and drive can go a long way to keeping roads safe.
  • Take preventative measures. Check oil levels and tire pressure, along with coolant levels, because cars may overheat when stuck in traffic. Car owners may also benefit from a check-up with a mechanic, prior to a long road trip, to examine vehicles for any unusual problems that might impede driving vacation.
  • Plan trips with timing in mind. If it can be helped, it can be safer to travel a few days before or a few days after the Fourth of July, as the days closer to the holiday tend to be more congested.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Stay three seconds or more behind the car, truck, or motorcycle in front of you. This will allow you enough time to brake if you need to stop suddenly.
Car Crash Lawyer
  • Minimize distractions. Keep phones put away and out of reach, leave snacks and drinks in the cooler, and turn the radio stations on before leaving the driveway. If mobile devices absolutely must be in the car, hand them to a passenger to control or utilize one of these safety apps researched by The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC to help prevent a deadly collision from distracted driving. Besides these distractions, road trips also call for additional reasons to focus on the road. Arguments, even if they are in the backseat, may make drivers anxious or cause them to take their eyes and ears off the road. Pets, along for the vacation, should be kept inside a carrier or fascinated into pet-specific seat belts, so as not to jump into the front seat and distract the driver. Additionally, loose items like sunglasses and maps might fall from the dashboard or overhead sun visors, startling drivers enough to threaten the safety of everyone in the car.
  • Know where you are going. Look up directions for road trip routes beforehand, making a plan for the hours spent on the road. Enlist a passenger to help navigate, so that the driver can focus on getting to the destination safely. Remember not to look at a phone screen for distractions while also behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  
  • Get plenty of rest. Prior to traveling over the Independence Day weekend, don’t forget to sleep in the midst of packing and planning. Lack of sleep can lead to drowsiness while driving, which is a risk factor for severe car crashes. Car drivers should take frequent breaks and rotate drivers if necessary.
Michigan Car Crash Attorney

The Fourth of July can be fun for everyone, as it is a day off work to enjoy the summer weather, cook out in backyards, and swim in the lake. Holiday road trips are a great way to bond with family and friends, and visit destinations, both new locales and well-loved spots. However, drivers must always be cautious of their surroundings, especially during such a busy time for travelers. Keep flashes of red, white, and blue to the fireworks in the sky instead of blinking on top of police cars. There is no doubt which would make the Founding Fathers more proud.


The 4th of July is a day to celebrate freedom for all people in the United States of America. Driving is a privilege not a freedom. Don't take advantage of the holiday as a reason to drive dangerously, drunkenly, or distractedly this upcoming Independence Day weekend. If you or someone you know has been a victim of an automobile collision, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Memorial Day Weekend Traffic Fatalities

Memorial Day celebrates the many men and women who have risked their lives to defend our country, but it also kicks off Summer travels. Whether by plane, train, boat or car, most Americans use this long weekend for a short getaway. With so many people leaving on vacation however, congestion and accidents are expected to follow. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 439 people will be killed and 50,500 will be seriously injured, over this three day weekend, due to Memorial Day motor vehicle crashes. 

Memorial Day Car Crash Lawyer

Memorial Day Car Crash Statistics

This year, it is expected that nearly 39.3 million Americans will go on vacation for Memorial Day. 88.1% of those traveling are planning to do so by driving, despite gas prices being increased by 11 cents since Memorial Day 2016. Additional statistics estimate that out of the over 50,000 car accidents and injuries incurred on this holiday every year, that 44% of these car crashes involve alcohol. In Michigan alone, out of all of the fatal car accidents that took place over Memorial Day weekend in 2015, approximately 33% of these motor vehicle accidents included a pedestrian or driver with alcohol in their system, according to Michigan State Police (MSP) reports.

Safe Driving Recourse

Although there are’t any plans to set up drunk driving checkpoints over the holiday weekend due to the questionable legality in Michigan, the MSP will still be on the road identifying drunk drivers and distracted drivers. MSP will also be involved with the Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts operation (C.A.R.E.), which is an international traffic safety initiative to keep the roadways safe during the Memorial Day weekend. Other programs that MSP will be participating in are the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” kickoff geared toward making sure that both children and adults are properly wearing and using their seat-belts. If a Michigan police officer discovers a driver not wearing a seat-belt between May 23 to June 5, they can expect to receive a base fine of approximately $65. 

Memorial Day Weekend Travel Safety Tips

Unfortunately, tickets and fines don't deter everyone into following the rules of the road. Therefore, even if you are adhering to the law, that doesn't mean that every other driver on the road will. So, for those who are planning on traveling by car, truck, bus, or RV this weekend, here are a few traffic safety tips provided by CNN News:

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer
  • Drive shorter distances. It is reasonably deduced that with the large number of drivers on the road who are traveling long distances, accidents can be reduced if other drivers drive shorter distances.  

  • Take the highway. On highways everyone is heading in the same direction and there are no turn lanes, so, traffic doesn't often stop - unless a car crash or traffic jam occurs. This helps make for a quicker journey than taking local roads which usually eat up time with red lights, turn lanes, and four way traffic.

  • Congestion could save a life. As odd as it sounds, taking the road less traveled could lead to speeding and accidents. In congested traffic, the only way to go is slow, which can further prevent accidents from happening or at least lessen the damage caused by any potential impact.

  • Leave early. Based on Waze traffic congestion studies, it is best to avoid the roads on Thursday between 3 to 5 P.M., on Friday from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M., and on Monday from 10 A.M. to 3 P.M.

  • Don’t drive under the influence. Is there really much more that needs to be said? Driving under the influence can affect reaction time, cognitive functions, and motor skills, all of which can lead to drunk driving car accidents.

  • Drowsy driving is a no-go. When experiencing constant blinking, swerving, or trouble recalling the last few miles, take it as a sign to pull over and rest or to switch drivers if possible. Falling asleep behind the wheel can lead to motor vehicle accidents and irreparable injuries. 

Drunk Driving Lawyer

It's also a general rule when driving any time that drivers should stay focused at all times on the road. That means no distractions from pets, phones, or even passengers. In this day and age, it's especially important to refrain from trying to text, post, tweet, record a video, or do anything else that can potentially cause attention to move away from the road. As many studies show, there are enough accidents caused around Memorial Day every year that could be avoided if drivers just take their time, drive responsibly, and abide by traffic laws.

Unofficial start of Summer aside, Memorial Day should be respected and we should do our best to remember those who died to serve our country. Thank you to those who laid down their lives in service, to those who have served, and to those who are serving. 


It is important for Michigan drivers to be aware that with the Summer travel season upon us, that the roads will quickly fill up with people wanting to take advantage of the warm weather. This surplus of out of town drivers on the road will cause travel times to be extended and thereby make crash statistics increase. Long weekends like Memorial Day, may even bring out an influx of road rage accidents and aggressive driving accidents. If you or a loved one becomes involved in a car accident over Memorial Day weekend, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide free consultations to victims of motor vehicle accidents. Speak to a Michigan car crash lawyer today at 844.4MI.FIRM. 

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. 

A Majority of Americans Practice Risky Driving Habits

Distracted Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Risky driving behaviors are on the rise as drivers find more ways to multitask while they are behind the wheel. A study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) revealed that almost 80% of crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Risky driving habits can include texting or calling while driving, dealing with children in the backseat, playing with the controls, and eating. According to a Washington’s Top News survey, more than 40% of drivers admitted to reading text messages or emails while behind the wheel, and over a third acknowledged that they responded to those messages.

The survey uncovered some other worrisome data as well. Over half of the drivers surveyed reported going more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit within the past month, and almost half had sped in a residential neighborhood, something that is especially dangerous due to low speed limit postings. Another shocking piece of data emerged about impaired driving as well, showing that 13% of drivers reported driving an automobile when their blood alcohol content (BAC) was over the legal limit within the past year, and around 9% admitted to doing this more than once in the past year.

Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

The survey results don't come as a huge shock to anyone, mainly because we are all guilty of some form of distracted driving. However, these results should still serve as a harsh reminder of the consequences that can come with driving without having undivided attention on the road. It is important to remember that texting and driving (including other services such as emailing, Snapchatting, etc.) is illegal, and taking calls while driving can also be dangerous. New studies have shown that even hands-free capabilities do not dramatically increase the safety of a driver. 

It is also illegal for drivers to drive with a BAC over .08%, and it is never wise to drive after consuming any alcohol. There are many other ways for people to get home besides driving themselves, so there is never a good excuse for getting behind the wheel. Speeding while driving is one of the leading causes of death in car accidents and distracted drivers may not only injure themselves but those around them-this could include children if driving in a residential area. By adhering to all safety regulations and laws of the road, drivers can reduce their chances of being involved in an accident.


Distracted driving can lead to serious injury or even death. Answering a call or taking a driving selfie is not worth your life. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident involving a distracted driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of car crashes including those caused by distracted driving. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Detroit Ranked #1 in Pedestrian Fatality Accidents

Detroit Pedestrian Car Crash Lawyer

Citizens of Detroit, Michigan have many gripes about the city including construction, decay, and of course traffic. While, the city itself is going though some improvements, citizens still have every right to be upset about traffic however, as the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) just issued a report showing that Detroit has the highest pedestrian fatality rate per 100,000 population. In fact, the NHTSA calculates that in 2015 alone, 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes - that’s the highest it’s been since 1996.

Alcohol Kills Pedestrians

The NHTSA contributes that most of the pedestrian accidents are caused by alcohol consumption. To be exact, 48% of the accidents involved either the pedestrian or the driver consuming alcohol before the crash occurred. Also to be noted is that fact that most of the accidents occurred during the winter months (December, January, and February) and predominantly at night time. 

NHTSA Safety Precautions 

Safety Precautions For Pedestrians:

Walking Car Accident Lawyer
  • Pedestrians should use crosswalks when they are available and walk in the direction against traffic. 
  • Be cautious! Electronic devices such as cell phones and music devices play into 'inattention blindness’ in which wearing headphones can make the wearer tune out of their surroundings. Also, pedestrians should keep in mind to not wear any headgear that may rest too low on their face or cover the eyes.
  • Drivers won't always see pedestrians due to distractions, blind spots, sun glare, or poorly lit areas. So, it should go without saying that wearing reflective gear or bright clothing to improve visibility is also advisable. 
  • Most importantly, avoid using drugs and alcohol before going out. As the NHTSA study shows, drugs and alcohol play a major role in pedestrian deaths.

Safety Precautions For Drivers:

  • Abide by state set speed limits.
  • Keep in mind that stopped cars could possibly be stopping to allow for pedestrians to cross the road, especially at crosswalks. 
  • Be alert! Pedestrians won’t always walk or be visible in places that motorists usually expect them to be. 
  • Don’t drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both will hinder coordination and judgement when driving. 

Safety Reminder

With summer fast approaching, citizens of Detroit should remember that both motorists and pedestrians play a part in sharing the road and keeping it safe for everyone. By following the safety precautions listed above, the people of Detroit can work together to make Detroit safer and to bring down Detroit's traffic fatiality ranking. 


Police can only do so much in catching and preventing drivers or pedestrians from getting behind the wheel while under the influence. Loved ones must also do their due diligence in making sure friends and family arrive at their destination unharmed and alive. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a pedestrian accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation. Our firm will fight to help you identify and receive any benefits you may be entitled to under Michigan Law. Call us today, at 844-4MI-FIRM. 

Eminem's Ex-Wife Pleads No Contest To Drunk Driving Charge

Drunk Driving Car Crash Lawyers

Kim Mathers, the ex-wife of popular Detroit rapper Eminem, avoided standing trial for driving under the influence by pleading no contest Tuesday, October 18, 2016. According to Click On Detroit, Mathers crashed the vehicle in Macomb Township, near 23 Mile and Card Road, last October and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Police and emergency personnel realized Mathers was upside-down in SUV which hit a light pole just after noon. In cellphone footage, reportedly showing the aftermath of the crash, and officer is heard saying, "You know who it is? It's Kim Mathers. She's hammered." According to the police report, Mathers told police she'd drank a fifth of Malibu rum and crashed the car on purpose.  Police believe the crash was a failed suicide attempt

Kim called in to local Detroit radio show “Mojo in the Morning” on 95.5 FM in May of 2016, according to CNN, to clear up what happened during her crash in 2015. "I did this on purpose and I'm so sorry," Mathers said on the show. "I never lied to [first responders]. I told them everything that I did. I said that I was sorry and that it was intentional and I didn't expect to make it out alive." On October 18th, Mathers decided to plead no contest and move on. Outside of court, Mathers and her attorney had very little to say. "I just want to put this all behind me," she said. Mathers is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 22. Her lawyer said there are no terms to the plea.

Kim Mathers and rapper Eminem (whose real name is Marshall Mathers) were teenage sweethearts who married in 1999 before divorcing in 2001. In 2006 they briefly remarried before splitting again. The couple share a daughter, Hailie, and Eminem reportedly adopted his former wife's daughter from another relationship. 


Drinking and driving is never a good idea. Whether Ms. Mathers was trying to commit suicide or thought that saying to is a good defense is irrelevant because Ms. Mathers put the lives of other drivers in danger when she attempted to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Luckily, no one, including Ms. Mathers was injured due to her recklessness. If you or anyone you know has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, call at The Michigan Law Firm. Our attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with all types of automobile accidents, including those involving drunk drivers. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation.

New University of Michigan Alcohol Policy

This past school year at the University of Michigan (U of M), the world-renowned university tried something a little different when dealing with underage drinking. It was the first year that they decided to inform the parents of first year students if they were caught with alcohol twice during the year. Even though the vast majority of first year students are legal adults (18+) and therefore their parents are not required by law to be informed of anything, this was something that other Big 10 universities had put in place. By having this policy, the University of Michigan hopes to curb the use of alcohol in the student body, and therefore keep its students safer.

University of Michigan Underage Drinking

 

Vice president for Student Life, Evan Royster sent out the following email regarding the new school policy. "We will notify parents of first-year students when a student under the age of 21 has had a second alcohol or drug violation or when a first-year student has committed a violation accompanied by other serious behavior such as needing medical attention, significant property damage or driving under the influence," the email read. "At U-M, we strive to create a caring community. The safety of our students is our No. 1 priority. Our actions are intended to reduce the risk of harm and increase the safety of every student."

University Drinking Lawyer

One of the reasons for this policy being put in place was due to the spike in alcohol and drug related matters. During the 2013-2014 school year, there were 404 alcohol and drug incidents, while the following year jumped up to 465 incidents. These incidents could range anywhere from a student being hospitalized for alcohol poisoning to a student being arrested for being in the possession of illegal narcotics. Of course, these numbers are only of the students that got "caught" and not the entire use of the substances at the university.


Even though the University of Michigan put this new policy in place, other universities in Michigan have not been reported to follow suit. According to the Michigan State University (MSU), the school is not expected to put any policy like U of M's anytime soon. Michigan State University spokesman Jason Cody has said the school does not see contacting parents as a form of prevention. He has said that the school has other programs targeted to first year students about underage drinking/drug use, and he doesn't believe contacting parents will be a deterrent. 

MSU should consider however, that implementing this policy may also be a good idea because it may help deter drunk driving accidents. Some first year students come to campus with vehicles given to them by their parents. If parents are informed of their student's illegal drinking, they may be able to provide consequences to the student by taking back their cars, even if they can't stop them from drinking. This not only serves as a punishment, making it so that students may give up drinking to get their driving privileges back, but this also helps parents prevent their students from becoming involved in dangerous drunk driving car crashes.

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The policy that the University of Michigan has put in place will hopefully deter underage drinking at the school. Although it won’t completely solve the problem, it will cause some first year students to think twice about drinking alcohol if they don't want to risk their parents being contacted. Thus this is an important step taken in order to keep everyone safe at the university. After all, a mother's disappointment is the oldest trick in the book to getting people to do the right thing.


If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident due to underage drinking, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling many types of auto accident cases, including those involving alcohol. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Ford "Drugged Driving Suit" Teaches Teens Lesson

Ford Motor Company is allowing students to experience what it’s like to drive under the influence of drugs. Thanks to Ford’s new “Drugged Driving Suit,” teens are able to see the many effects that drugs can have on their ability to drive, and also face the severe consequences that can follow them for the rest of their lives. 

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

The suit was developed in partnership with the Meyer-Hentschel Institute in Germany to simulate effects of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. Teens wearing the suit will experience slower reaction time, distorted vision, hand tremors, and poor coordination. “We know that some drugs can cause trembling hands, so we incorporated a device into the suit that creates just such a tremor,” Gundolf Meyer-Hentschel, CEO of the Meyer-Hentschel Institute said. “Drug users sometimes see flashing lights in their peripheral field, an effect recreated by our goggles, while imaginary sounds are generated by the headphones. Additionally, the goggles distort perception, and produce colorful visual sensations.” 

Drug Accident Lawyer

 The suit will be part of Ford Driving Skills for Life, which is an award-winning young driver program which provided training to more than 500,000 people worldwide, since it began in 2005. “Driving after taking illegal drugs can have potentially fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, and other road users,” Global Program Manager for Ford Driving Skills for Life said. According to the most recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 18% of all motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol. Another NHTSA survey showed that 22% of drivers tested positive for illegal, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs. 

A lot of attention is placed on drinking and driving, and rightfully so, but the effects of driving while being under the influence of drugs can get pushed off to the side at times. This issue has become even larger around this time of year. With prom and graduation season, along with summer parties every weekend, teens can find themselves making poor choices after a night out. Many times the teen is not even in the right mindset to consider the potential consequences of driving under the influence, and how it could affect their loved ones and the other drivers on the road. 


Driving while under the influence can lead to serious and permanent damage, including death. If you or somebody you know has been in an accident involving a drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in handling all types of collisions, including drunk driving car crashes. We help victims of drunk driving identity and receive any benefits they may be entitled to, under Michigan law.  Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.