Investigations Launched After Michigan Cop Is Not Penalized For Drunk Driving

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

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

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

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

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

Detroit Drunk Driving Car Accident Lawyer

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

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


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

Michigan Judge Under Hit-and-Run Crash Investigation

Michigan Hit and Run Car Crash Lawyer

A Michigan judge who usually sentences criminals for hit-and-run crimes could possibly be ending up in front of another judge for the very same reason. The Detroit Free Press reported that Roseville District Court Judge Catherine Steenland of the 39th District Court is being investigated for fleeing the scene of an accident.

On the night of September 25, 2017, Judge Steenland allegedly sideswiped another vehicle while she was making a turn. She then left the scene and returned to her home. The car collision allegedly took place on Gratiot between 13 Mile and Masonic. The driver of the other vehicle supposedly followed Judge Steenland to her home and watched her exit her vehicle. The two never spoke to each other. Anonymous sources tell CBS Detroit that police officers later reported to Judge Steenland’s home, and she refused to cooperate with them. The sources also say that Judge Steenland’s vehicle has since been impounded.

Roseville Police Chief James Berline said in a statement that “a complaint was made, and as Judge Steenland is a sitting judge responsible for the City of Roseville, the matter was turned over to the Michigan State Police for investigation. Any comment regarding this matter will have to come from MSP.”

This is not the first legal trouble Judge Steenland has faced. In June of 2008, she pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired in Ogemaw County. She was charged in the 82nd District Court in West Branch in northern Michigan. She was suspended without pay for 90 days.

Roseville Car Crash Lawyer

In Michigan, the driver of a vehicle who knows or who has reason to believe that he has been involved in an accident shall immediately stop his or her vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall remain there...or immediately report the accident to the nearest or most convenient police agency or officer. In other words, if there’s a chance you were in an accident, you need to stay on the scene until you are able to talk to the police. There may be exceptions in cases where it would be dangerous for the driver to remain on scene. Fleeing the scene of an accident is generally considered a misdemeanor crime, that carries with it a 90 day prison sentence and/or a $100 fine.

Leaving the scene of an automobile accident isn’t OK for anyone to do. It may seem like an easy way out, but it can just create more problems down the line. What could be a minor car collision that could easily be handled by an exchange of insurance information could become a much bigger legal matter if you decide to flee. By staying at the scene of a car accident and cooperating with first responders and investigators, you may be able to avoid having to call an accident attorney or criminal lawyer because you made a bad decision in the moment.


Hit-and-run accidents can be a legal headache for the person who fled the scene, but can also lead to prolonged pain and suffering for the other victims of the car crash. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Update: Roseville, Michigan Man Ticketed For Warming Up His Car

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently informed blog readers of an incident that happened last winter when a Roseville, Michigan man left his car running in his driveway with the keys still in the ignition. Nick Taylor Trupiano, 24, was given a $128 ticket that he felt was unfair. He conveyed his upset by posting a picture of the citation and a verbal rant on his Facebook page, on which the Roseville police received unkind remarks. The post led to many other Michigan residents to being concerned on how they could warm up their vehicles in the winter without being charged for endangering the public.  

Michigan Winter Car Crash Lawyer


Following this incident, Republican Rep. Holly Hughes introduced Bill 4215 that would allow citizens to leave their keys in the ignition while the car is running on private property - at their own risk. The bill passed in the House and Governor Rick Snyder just officially signed it into law on June 28, 2017. It should be noted however that the bill does not allow for citizens to leave their cars unattended and idle while on the freeway, but only on their private property. 

Another piece of legislature that Snyder approved was for drivers to show proof of their vehicle’s registration by phone or another electronic form along with their auto insurance when asked by a police officer. This measure will help those who like the convenience of having their documents on their phone or simply want to be green, by using less paper.

Now with the bill signed into law, many Michigan residents can rest easy when warming up their cars during the colder weather months. While this news may cause citizens of Michigan to rejoice, they should remember that a car that is left running for more than 10 minutes is essentially wasting gas, while polluting the environment, and causing damage to their car's engine. In fact, most people who live in cold areas don't even realize that warming up their car by letting it idle isn't even practical. Global News was informed by Car Help consultant, Mohamed Bouchama, that, “the car warms up much faster when it’s driving than when it’s idling...As long as your windows and mirrors are clear of snow and frost, you’re good to go." In other words, Michiganders should just take the time to start the car, clear the windows, and then drive, this winter. 


Bill 4215 has saved many motorists from being fined for something most believed was perfectly legal. However, motorists should still be careful of leaving their keys in the car where any person passing by could potentially steal the vehicle. If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.