Suspected Drunk Driver Causes Fatal Car Crash

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

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

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

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

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


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

Parents Claim Their Son Was Not The Driver In Fatal Car Crash

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously reported on a May 8, 2015 fatal rollover car crash in Stony Creek Metropark, involving 5 teenage boys. Speeding and alcohol were found to be factors in the motor vehicle collision that killed Johnathan Manolios, Emanuel Malaj, and Michael Wells, and critically injured Gregory Bobchick and Joseph Narra, all of Macomb County, Michigan. Now, the parents of one of the three teens killed are disputing the conclusion that their son, Johnathan Manolios, was driving the Jaguar at the time of the motor vehicle crash. 

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The family of Johnathan Manolios has filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S District Court in Detroit, which also alleges misconduct by Macomb County and the Sheriff's investigators working on the case, including Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, Captain David Kennedy, Sergeant Jason Abro, and Deputies Renee Yax and David Crabtree. The Detroit Free Press says the lawsuit's complaints range from due process violations to defamation and negligence.  

The complaint was referred by Wickersham to the county's corporation counsel, John Schapka, who simply said, "I've reviewed the complaint. It is pathetic." A statement released by George and Susan Manolios says, "The only things we have ever wanted were answers and the truth." 

The Free Press describes how, "In the days and weeks after the crash, the sheriff's office said the car with the five teens was traveling about 72-82 mph, crashed into a guardrail, and rolled five times. Sheriff's officials said everyone in the car tested positive for alcohol."

On the subject of who was driving the car, "In 2015, Wickersham had said a relative of Bobchick's owned the car and that he did not know why Manolios was driving, but investigators believed Manolios pressured Bobchick to let Manolios drive the car." 

On the other hand, "The Manolios family lawsuit claims Narra was the actual driver of the vehicle, and that Manolios's body was found furthest away from the car on the other side of a riverbank 150 feet away. It also alleges that the defendants did not have the expertise, equipment, or manpower to investigate the case properly, refused to turn the case over to the Michigan State Police to reconstruct the accident, and did not conduct forensic testing on the car that would have "conclusively proven who the driver was." 

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The lawsuit also claims that Sgt. Abro inserted himself into the case to ensure Narra "upon information and belief, a family friend, was not prosecuted for the serious crimes that were committed that evening." The allegations mention that Abro had Narra's mother sign a consent to search form, allowing Abro to obtain Narra's toxicology results from the hospital, and that Abro ordered the roof of the car to be cut off "with no legitimate purpose other than to destroy the deployed airbags so that DNA testing could not be performed." 

Among other complaints, the lawsuit "alleges that the parents inquired with the Sheriff's office where Manolios's body was found in relation to the crash scene because it was necessary for them to go there and memorialize the location pursuant to their religious beliefs. They allege that they were misinformed and told where Malaj's body was found, not Manolios's body, depriving them of their right to full practice of their religious beliefs."

To make matters worse, the complaint states the defendants confused Manolios's body with Malaj's, delivering what they thought was the body of their son, but was really Malaj's body, to the funeral home. 

This lawsuit is one of several that have been filed in federal and circuit courts since the 2015 speeding car crash. The lives of five teenage boys and their families were altered forever by the unsafe decision to drink and drive, regardless of whoever was driving. Not only are there deadly consequences to high speed car accidents, but drunk driving is a whole other category of danger. There are alternatives to driving drunk, and no one in a vehicle-driver OR passenger-should bring alcohol on the road. While it's sad to imagine that investigators may have made errors in figuring out who was driving and in delivering the wrong body to the funeral, it's important to see this situation as a cautionary tale of the dangers of driving under the influence. 


Teenage drivers are less experienced on the roads, and may make unsafe decisions that put themselves and their car passengers at risk for serious injury or even death, in the event of a motor vehicle accident. In order to avoid having to call a personal injury lawyer, it is important for people of all ages to stay informed about the dangers of risky driving behavior, so they can do everything they can to minimize their risk of getting involved in an auto accident. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a serious car crash, contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 884.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

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.

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. 

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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.” 

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 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.