by Attorney Patrick T. Barone
State of Michigan vs. B.
42nd District Court New Baltimore, Michigan
Two Separate Cases of OUIL
The client retained our office
after being arrested for an OUIL on March 10, 2001. The police report
indicated that the subject vehicle was traveling at excessive speed, and
crossing over the center line several times. After the stop, the arresting
officer noticed "a lot of slurring in the driverís speech". The driver
admitted to drinking 2-3 beers, but later admitted to drinking large quantities
of alcohol. The arresting officer also wrote that "in his attempt to do
the field sobriety test, S1 was stumbling around almost falling down several
times". Also, that the officer "had to assist S1 away from the road to
keep him from stumbling onto the road". When asked to perform the finger-to-nose
test, the driver allegedly said "I"m fucked up, you know it and I know
On May 8, 2001, the client
was again arrested, in the same jurisdiction, and again charged with OUIL,
making his second OUIL arrest with 7 years. (While he could not be charged
with the enhanced crime of OUIL 2nd, if convicted of both, some of the
same sanctions apply, most notably, the one year mandatory license revocation).
In this second case the arresting
officer observed the clientís vehicle cross over the center line, then
strike the car in front of his. The report indicated that he "failed"
the alphabet and counting tests, and that all "six visual clues" were
apparent in the HGN (follow pen with eyes test). The blood alcohol level
Both cases were set for trial.
On the day of jury selection for the first case, I was able to persuade
the prosecutor to offer a very enticing plea bargain. The deal we worked
out was for the client to plead guilty to an impaired driving on one file,
and to a reckless driving on the other file. This amounts to just one
alcohol related offense, and benefited the client in several ways, the
first being that he avoids the mandatory one year license revocation,
and will not have to request a license and have a hearing (and perhaps
be denied) at the conclusion of that one year period. (see
Driver License Restoration Cases) Instead he loses his license for
a period of 90 days after which his license will be returned upon only
his application to the Secretary of State, and payment of the reinstatement
The plea agreement also avoids
the mandatory minimum 90 day period of vehicle immobilization. Fines and
costs are lower, and there is no mandatory period of incarceration. This
result was far better than having the client take the risk of being found
guilty of two OUILís within 7 years, with all the mandatory and discretionary
sanctions associated with two such convictions.
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