People vs. R.C.P.
Royal Oak, Michigan
OUIL 2nd Offense
Client was stopped by Michigan
State Trooper J. Huggins after leaving a bar in Royal Oak. The Trooper
observed the subject vehicle (a motorcycle) speeding, and passing other
cars. The passenger was observed swinging her hands in the air while
riding on the rear.
Upon contact, the narrative
police report indicates that both riders smelled of intoxicants, had
reddish eyes and unsteady balance. There was an admission to drinking
six beers. The balance was unsteady, and the driver swayed as he exited
The driver refused the one-leg
stand, but was positive for all six visual clues on the horizontal nystagmus
test. He also failed to touch heel-to-toe on one step in each direction,
and counted 10 steps rather than 9 as directed. He was arrested for
drunk driving, and his blood was drawn. The blood test showed an alcohol
level of 0.10.
All of the pretrial procedures
were handled by another attorney, and this office was brought in as
the trial attorney. Our goal was to show that there was little observable
evidence of intoxication, and to show that there was a reasonable doubt
as to the reliability of the blood test result. Consequently, we insisted
that all the persons who handled the blood testify at the trial.
On the day of trial the prosecutor
was unable to produce the lab tech that tested the blood at the Michigan
State Lab. Consequently, we were able to negotiate a reduction to the
charge of reckless driving. The result was a 6 month period of probation,
6 pts on the driving record, and a 90 day suspended license. This result
was far better than could be obtained in any other way than a not-guilty
verdict at trial. On the other hand, if the client had been found guilty
at trial, the punishment imposed by the Court would have been far more
severe, and the driver license would have been revoked for one year.
All though we believed that
the client had an excellent case for trial, he decided that it was in
his best interest, all things considered, to accept the reduction and
plead guilty to the reckless driving. He was sentenced the same day.
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