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.

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.

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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. 

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

So, it's finally Halloween. You carved and put out the pumpkins, you covered the trees in cobwebs, and you have the noise machine rigged to make ghost sounds in tune with the gauze ghosts you hung from the roof. You even have an enormous cauldron filled to the brim with a wide assortment of candy. You sit back and sigh wishing you could go trick-or-treating. After all, you've made your house into the exact kind you would've been excited to go to as a child. But then, you remember that you're going to a costume party this evening. You can still go all out with your attire, plus there will be alcohol in addition to the candy there. Why were you even upset? An adult Halloween is way better!

While adults typically don't go trick-or-treating, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate Halloween that don’t involve running from house to house looking for candy. And while Halloween can be a fun night for adults too, it’s important not to have too much fun and risk anyone’s safety. Since most adult Halloween parties involve alcohol, it's important that people don't engage in drinking and driving, which can lead to drunk driving car accidents. What's worse is that since so many children are on the streets on Halloween night, drunk driving accidents are very likely to cause serious injury or death to children.

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Drunk driving is an unfortunately all too common occurrence on Halloween night, taking the lives of both those who were in the car, as well as innocent bystanders. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that between 2009 and 2013, 43% of all deaths that occurred on Halloween were due to a drunk driving related car collision. In 2013, 26% of all pedestrian fatalities were caused by a drunk driver. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 55 deaths on Halloween night in 2015, a significant rise from 17 deaths in 2011. Officials expect that number will steadily rise over the coming years.

The NHTSA also found that drunk driving car accidents are three times more likely to occur on Halloween than New Year’s Eve. David Bohl, the director of an alcohol abuse recovery center outside of Chicago, believes this is because the idea of adults celebrating Halloween has increased in popularity over the past few years. Speaking to The Chicago Tribune, Bohl said that more adults are choosing to celebrate the night with drinking. If people are celebrating on the weekend (regardless of what day the holiday actually falls on) this can lead to 6-8 hours of alcohol consumption.

In an effort to combat drunk driving, ride sharing app Uber has a Halloween guide for those who will be drinking. Ride sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft are a a great way to minimize drunk driving accidents. However, it’s important to remember that with ride sharing apps, surge pricing is usually in effect for nights like Halloween, so the fare may be higher than expected. Therefore, Halloween party-goers who plan to drink might want to consider public transportation, a cab service, or selecting a designated driver, as other safe alternatives to driving while intoxicated.

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Even if drivers are not drunk, it is important to be especially cautious on Halloween night as the streets will be filled with excited trick-or-treaters looking for candy. According to the NHTSA, many pedestrian accidents are caused by common mistakes made by drivers that can be avoided. Safe Kids has the following tips for drivers.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.

  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.

  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

  • Drive slowly, anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic, and turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

Celebrating Halloween is not something that has to end once you’ve outgrown trick or treating, but it’s also not a reason to endanger your own life or the lives of others. As Halloween continues to be a popular night for drinking, drunk driving accidents are likely to continue. Even if you only plan on having a couple of drinks, stay safe and have a designated driver or use a service such as a ridesharing app. If you are not drunk, it is still necessary to take extra precautions, drive safely, and be aware of the increased amount of child pedestrians roaming the streets that evening. There is no way to assure car collisions won't happen on Halloween, but being aware of the dangers and having a plan for staying safe can help lower the risk to yourself and others.


Drunk driving is bad idea regardless of the time of year, and drunk driving accidents happen year round. If you have been involved in a drunk driving accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. Let our attorneys handle your legal troubles while you recover.

Study Claims Midwesterners Are More Likely To Drive Drunk

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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.

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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.

Pokemon Go: Virtual Reality Game's Recent Real Life Accidents

As many people know, in today's tech-savvy world, keeping a cell phone in your car is dangerous, and it is even more dangerous to text or use an app on your smartphone while driving. Many apps require a person's attention on their phone screen for more than just a quick glance, which is more than enough time to cause a car collision. This time last year, the Pokémon Go app was just beginning to take users by storm, with people everywhere constantly discussing the game and traveling around town to "catch" the Pokémon. The game projects characters on the screen amid the player's actual surroundings, combining the virtual with reality. One year later, the game continues to develop new features and bring people together, with some even attending in-person live events to play the game. The popularity of the app has created yet another form of distracted driving, and has led to several motor vehicle accidents in Michigan and around the country.

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In one example, a man crashed into a cop car in Baltimore, Maryland while playing Pokémon Go, last July. USA TODAY reported that the Pokémon Go enthusiast slammed into a parked Baltimore police car while playing the game on his phone. In body-camera video released by the Baltimore Police Department, several officers are seen standing near the police car as a Toyota Rav 4 slams into the police cruiser and continues driving. In the video, an officer runs after the vehicle, which stops near the end of the block, and the driver gets out of his car. The officer asks if everyone is ok, and the driver, whose face is blurred in the clip, shows the police officers his cellphone. “That’s what I get for playing this dumb--- game,” the man says to the officers. A spokesperson for the police department mentioned that the incident wasn't even the first one that week!

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last summer, CBS News said that teen Autumn Deiseroth was hit by a car in an incident related to Pokémon Go. Deiseroth saud she did everything right while playing the game near her home, including looking both ways before crossing streets, but she was hit by a car anyway, after the game lured her across a busy highway. "She was not walking and playing the game," her mother, Tracy Nolan, told a CBS affiliate. "She was coming home to tell her mother she found Pokémon. I'm blaming the game itself because it's dragging kids across major highways. Kids don't need to be going across highways."

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Here in Michigan, Pokémon Go is being blamed for a suspected drunk driver crashing into a parked car in Commerce Township, while his eyes were glued to his smartphone. According to the Detroit Free Press, a 28-year-old Walled Lake man fled in his wrecked car but was arrested after deputies followed a trail of vehicle debris from the crash to the suspect's home. The Oakland County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that deputies determined that the man had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash and transported him to Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital for a blood draw via a search warrant. He was also treated for injuries sustained in the crash. The suspect told police he had been in the area searching for Pokémon on his phone, while driving, when he struck the parked vehicle. The driver was arrested following his treatment and was lodged in the Oakland County Jail pending charges.

Pokémon Go has even gone so far as to lead to fatal vehicle-pedestrian crashes. On October 14, 2016, 24-year-old Cody Soucie of Roseville, Michigan hit Ryan Mannes, 14, with his motorcycle while Mannes played Pokémon Go with two of his friends. Soucie had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14, which is almost twice the legal limit. Mannes had walked into the street to catch a Pokémon, as described in the Detroit Free Press, and was hit by Soucie upon returning to the sidewalk. Mannes was pronounced dead at the scene with catastrophic injuries. Soucie was charged with a felony crime that could lead to, up to 15 years in jail. 

Distracted walking, including looking down at cell phones, is an alarming new trend that poses a significant safety threat, in the form of inattentional blindness, to pedestrians and motorists alike. The National Safety Council emphasizes that pedestrians and drivers using cell phones are both impaired and too mentally distracted to fully focus on their surroundings. Of course, no one plans to be hit by a car while playing Pokémon Go. However, what is unknown to many people is that unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Apps like Pokémon Go and virtual reality games are fun to play and are experiencing a surge in popularity, but users are advised to always be safe while playing, and to definitely never use them while driving, so as to help prevent a severe injury or car crash fatality. 

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Additionally, there are several ways to avoid distracted driving accidents and drunk driving car crashes. Apps have recently been developed that actually work to minimize phone usage while in a vehicle. Car sharing services like Uber and Lyft are available to take people home so that people under the influence don't have to risk their life or the lives of those on the road by driving while intoxicated. Drunk driving and distracted driving are never okay, even if the goal is just to catch Pokémon. As games for smartphones multiply, safety and awareness must also increase, in order to avoid fatal car crashes.


Pokémon Go was created to bring the game to life and to get people to be more active and spent more time outdoors. While these are admirable goals from Niantic, the creater of Pokemon Go, it is important to be safe and vigilant while playing the game, and to never play while driving, as Niantic themselves warn. It is also important to be aware of one's surroundings at all times, because you never know when a vehicle headed your way, if your head is down and absorbed in a game. If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Man Dies In Flint Area After Crashing Stolen Police Car

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A 24-year old Michigan man has passed away after stealing a Michigan State Police car early on the morning on July 9, 2017, and crashing it 20 miles away. 

MLive reports that police officials were called to the area of M-55 and Plank Road in Tawas shortly after 4 AM, to look for a man driving a golf cart along the road without headlights. 

Phillip Everett, of Greenbush, Michigan in Alcona County, was stopped by troopers and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As troopers worked to secure the golf cart, Everett was able to move into the driver’s seat of the police car and drive away at high speeds. 

Law enforcement discovered a short time later that Everett had crashed the patrol car at southbound US-23 near East Bessinger Road in Arenac County. He died as a result of his injuries sustained in the crash. 

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Drunk driving crashes kill 1 person every 51 minutes in the United States, despite all 50 states making it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. As in Everett's case, driving while impaired may lead to arrest, serious injury, and even death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends the following safety tips to help prevent drunk driving:

  • If you will be drinking, plan on not driving. Plan a safe ride home before you start the party. Designate a sober driver ahead of time or plan to use a ride-sharing business like Uber or Lyft.
  • If you become unexpectedly intoxicated, do not drive for any reason. Once again, call and Uber or call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. The NHTSA also has a SaferRide mobile app available, allowing users to call a taxi or friend and identify their location so they can be picked up. 
  • If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Take their keys, take them home, or help them arrange a sober ride. 
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement. Your actions could help save someone’s life. 

Drunk driving can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. Reckless driving and speeding may also lead to accidents, endangering drivers, passengers, and people in other motor vehicles and on the roads. If you or someone you know has been involved in a severe car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Fourth Of July Travel Safety Tips

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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.
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  • 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.
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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.

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

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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. 

The Impact of Autonomous Cars on the US Economy

There has been continuous buzz about self-driving cars over the past few years, with successful tests and disastrous accidents alike, being reported in the news. There is no doubt that such a ground-breaking invention will change transportation norms throughout the United States, just as Henry Ford’s automobiles forever changed the way to get around the country.

In fact, Wired reports autonomous vehicles are expected to add $7 trillion to the U.S. economy over the next 35 years, based on data from Intel and research company Strategy Analytics. This is no small number, considering just robotic cars alone could add $2 trillion to the nation's economy by 2050, not even taking into account the current jobs and businesses that will be affected financially. To put these numbers into perspective, $1 trillion could buy about 40 million new cars, according to Kiplinger. But what makes up this enormous number?

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Self-Driving Cars and Jobs

Autonomous cars are predicted to positively influence the economy in the coming years, but their impact will be spread unevenly across sectors. Companies like Google and GM who have invested in making this technology a reality, will see the most money. Then, for the average Joe, the industries that will likely see a rise in job demands include data analysis, IT, and mechanics. Just like our smart phones and credit cards, autonomous cars collect data on a driver's habits, which in turn creates jobs for humans who need to sort and analyze this data. Intel reports jobs in information technology (IT), though they will see a shift from actual discovery of information to the management of machines finding information, will almost double in intensity. Additionally, the number of miles driven is expected to rise, increasing the need for cars, self-driving or otherwise, to be repaired by mechanics. 

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On the other hand, there will also be a decline in jobs, especially for people working in the service industries. Jobs like food delivery and taxi services may no longer be needed with the use of self-driving cars. This brings into effect the concept that Intel and Strategy Analytics call "The Passenger Economy," an idea which places economic and societal value on pilotless vehicles. Essentially, why hire humans to do a job that cars can do on their own? While they profit either way, this is a question that companies like Uber will have to face when replacing human drivers with company vehicles. 

It should also be noted that self-driving cars may create jobs that are still unknown. After all, with new technologies come new jobs the market previously did not anticipate. On the flip side, new technologies could also make jobs that currently exist obsolete. No matter which sectors see an increase or decline in job security, the fact remains that the American economy will still receive an estimated $7 trillion economic boost (or even even bigger-no one can put an exact number on the future!) Just like the Model-T helped restructure city spaces and bring the suburbs into existence, autonomous vehicles have the ability to transform job markets. There are endless possibilities for economic reform.

Autonomous Car Regulations

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Though all the glory of creating thousands of new jobs and boosting the economy sounds appealing, it does not happen without the technology meeting all safety standards first. Which is why, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not counting their chickens before their eggs hatch. The NHTSA has released the Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles, a document which, "outlines best practices for the safe design, development and testing of automated vehicles prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads." Included in this document is a 15-point safety assessment that requires manufacturers to meet objectives such as operational design, post-crash response, privacy, and cybersecurity before their cars can go to market. Considering that 94% of automobile crashes are due to human error, there is definitely room for technology to advance driver safety. Hopefully, if all autonomous vehicle manufacturers can meet the standards set by the NHTSA, this will be a step in the right direction to saving lives. 

The Future of Self-Driving Cars

What does all this mean for people who are willing to give up their spot behind the wheel and let the car drive itself? (That is a scary thought for a lot of people!) Well, most people want more proof that these cars won't crash and will safely deliver them to their destination before they surrender the wheel. That is why companies who create autonomous car technology need to be regulated to ensure absolute safety in their products and so that consumers are not just paying for the newest trend in transportation. Put simply, this technology needs to save lives and be safer than the transportation methods we already have. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute said to Consumer Reports that “there’s no way that we as a society would accept self-driving cars that cause the same number of fatalities as humans.” 

Autonomous Car Crash Lawyer

In 2015, there were roughly 35,000 traffic deaths in the United States. Future autonomous vehicles must allow for more safety if they are to replace human drivers. People also need to remember that transportation technology takes years of planning before it can be used in everyday lives, and that for now, only people can drive cars. Testing allows room for development and improvement, but overall “we expect machines to be better than us,” as Pratt said.

Until it's proven that autonomous vehicles are safer than human-operated vehicles, humans need to be careful when driving on the road today. While we may one day be able to sleep while a car drives us around, we have to make sure that for now, we don't fall asleep behind the wheel! Sleepy driving, distracted driving, and drunk driving are bad human habits that can lead to serious injuries and death in the event of a car crash. By following the rules of the road and maintaining good driving habits, people can protect themselves from being involved in fatal car accidents. 

At the end of the day, it is impossible to plan the future or to predict how large of an impact autonomous vehicles will have on the economy or auto law. What we do know is that self-driving cars will add jobs, take away jobs, and, based on how well they are regulated, even save lives. 


Self-driving cars are growing closer to reality than we think due to the rapid development of technology. However, today, we still rely on people to drive vehicles, and as such, following the rules of the road is the best way to stay safe and to avoid motor vehicle accidents. If you or someone you know has been in involved in an auto accident, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for 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. 

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. 

Labor Day Weekend: Arts, Beats, & Eats in Royal Oak, Michigan

Arts, Beats, & Eats, Royal Oak, Michigan

The 19th year of the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival is right around the corner! This street fair, where nearly 200 musical acts come to perform, is located in Royal Oak, Michigan and will be going on from September 2 through September 5.

The festival demonstrates and displays artists' work and hosts multiple vendors from whom visitors may purchase unique pieces. Not only is there plenty of shopping but no one will leave hungry. Arts, Beats, and Eats is known for having plenty of food and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. It is a celebration for local artists, music, food, and a good time!

Unfortunately, the good times should be taken with some precaution. After all, where there is alcohol, there should be responsibility. Every year about 10,000 people die and 290,000 people are injured due to drunk driving related crashes according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Having a great time at the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival is fine, but how much fun is too much?  Drinking and driving is no joke.

Getting home safely from Arts, Beats, & Eats

Ask A Friend

  • Call someone who hasn't been drinking such as a friend or a family member. Or better yet, appoint a designated driver. This is someone who attends the festival but doesn't drink. 

Call An Uber

  • Or Lyft, another ride-share service, or even a cab. What’s a $30-$50 cab fair when compared to thousands in DUI costs, prison, or even a life. 

Don’t Drink!

  • There are more than enough ways to enjoy the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival without involving alcohol. In fact, staying clear of booze might help you do more things at the event and help you remember them.

When attending the festival make the decision to prevent drunk driving. It has been reported that after an NFL game 40% of spectators are under the influence according to Stay Safe. Approximately there are 100,000 people at an NFL football game so that is about 40,000 people with alcohol in their system. The Arts, Beats, & Eats festival last year had nearly 380,000 and by using the football statistic it is clear to say at least 100,000 people will also be under the influence. Don't be another statistic and try to remember there is not only one driver on the road. 

Royal Oak Drunk Driving Lawyer

Arts, Beats, and Eats festival is an integral part of the Royal Oak experience. Every year, thousands of people have great fun appreciating art, listening to music, and enjoying the food. And while some festival-goers may choose to drink alcohol to contribute to this fun, they should remember that choosing to drink and drive is wrong. Accidents happen but all drunk driving accidents are preventable. If you have been injured or know of someone who has been injured by a drunk driver, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of automobile accident cases including those involving drunk driving. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation. 

Study Says There Is No Link Between The Rise of Uber and The Fall of Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

You’ve just spent a night out with your friends, had a few drinks, and need a safe way to get back home. What’s the most popular solution these days?

Uber.

The popular ride-sharing service has become well known across America as the best way to avoid driving home after having a few too many drinks. The company even promotes on their website that cities with Uber have “fewer drunk drivers on the streets.” However, a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found no noticeable impact on the number of drunk driving deaths in cities where Uber provides its services.

“Obviously the rise of Uber and Lyft has been incredible, and we were curious about potential implications,” David Kirck, co-author of the study from the University of Oxford, told CNNMoney. To conduct the study, Kirck and his partner Noli Brazil examined drunk driving numbers in the Top-100 most populated metro areas in the United States from 2009 to 2014. The study found that the rise of Uber has not correlated with a decrease in deaths overall or during peak hours such as weekend nights.

Kirck points to a number of reasons why Uber hasn’t helped slow the number of drink driving deaths. First, drunk drivers, who are already not thinking clearly, may not feel like waiting and paying to be picked up, and they like their odds of making it home safe without getting caught (Out of 121 million incidents of drunk driving in the United States, only 1.1 million are arrested). Additionally, there are simply not enough Uber drivers in the United States to make a real dent in the 10,000 people who die every year in drunk driving accidents. While there are hundreds of thousands of Uber drivers working each month in the United States, there are still 4.2 million people who decide to drive drunk every month.

Uber Accident Lawyer

CNNMoney pointed out that Uber continues to claim its service can help decrease drunk driving, as it often refers to another study that shows a 3.6% to 5.6% decrease in drunk driving deaths in California. “We’re glad Uber can provide an alternative to drunk driving and help people make more responsible choices. Our ridership numbers show that trips peak at times when people are more likely to be out drinking and 80% of riders say that Uber has helped them personally avoid drinking and driving,” an Uber spokesperson said in a statement.


Kirck offered that companies like Uber can have a more substantial impact in the future. “It will be important to revisit the findings in a few years, assuming Uber and Lyft have even greater presence in the United States and beyond. And if Uber and Lyft can find a way to have greater appeal to drunk drivers, then there is a possibility of bring fatalities down.”


Make no mistake about it: there is NO good excuse for getting behind the wheel while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not only do you put yourself in harms way, you also endanger everyone else on the road. If you or somebody you know has been injured in an accident involving a drunk driver, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in helping victims of drunk driving car crashes receive the help they deserve. 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.