Most FAQ About Drunk Driving in Macomb County, Michigan

By April 5, 2015 June 5th, 2020 Criminal Defense Detroit MI

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LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are DUI lawyers in Michigan that have specialized in criminal defense for decades. Our attorneys have represented thousands of people charged drunk driving in courts all over the State of Michigan.

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The most frequently asked questions by people in Macomb County, Michigan are:

What do police officers look for when trying to find drunk drivers?

Most OWI arrests happen at night and on weekends. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled a list of some of the things that police officers look for (this list is in no way complete):

  • wide turns
  • straddling center lane marker
  • weaving
  • almost striking an object or another vehicle
  • swerving
  • following too closely
  • slow response at traffic signals
  • headlights off

If I am stopped by a police officer, and he asks if I have been drinking, what should I say?

An officer’s inquiry about how much you’ve had to drink is a tough question to answer. You are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions. Saying that you’ve only had one or two drinks, combined with other evidence, can establish probable cause to arrest you. The best answer would respectfully advise the officer that you decline to answer any questions, and you would like to speak to a lawyer before any further questioning.

Do I have a right to an attorney when I am stopped by a police officer and asked to take roadside tests?

No. There is no right to an attorney until you are formally arrested. By the time an actual arrest occurs, must OWI drivers have said and done way too much. In most cases, the police officer has already decided to arrest the person and is just using the roadside tests for additional evidence. It is often best to request a lawyer immediately when stopped and ask the police officer to note the time of your request on the report. Produce your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration and not say or do anything further.

What is the police officer looking for during the traffic stop?

There are several signs that a person may be intoxicated. However, it is important to remember that there can also be normal explanations for some of these signs. Examples can include:

  • flushed face
  • red, watery, glassy or bloodshot eyes
  • odor of alcohol
  • slurred speech
  • fumbling with a wallet to get a license
  • staggering
  • swaying and using the car for support
  • being combative or excessively happy or angry
  • unable to follow or remember directions

Should I take the roadside tests?

Michigan law was amended in 2015 to change the requirements relative to roadside testing. They are now called “preliminary roadside analysis.” They include the on-site taking of a breath sample or performance and observation of field sobriety tests to determine if a person is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. Michigan has not made it unlawful to refuse field sobriety tests, and if you refuse them, then the police will not be able to claim you failed the tests. Your attorney might also argue that without field sobriety tests or any other credible evidence of intoxication, the police lacked probable cause to make an arrest. If a Motion to Suppress based on lack of probable cause to arrest is successful, your case could be dismissed. It is almost always best to respectfully decline to perform the field sobriety tests. Do not make excuses, like bad legs or an injured back, just say, “I respectfully decline to perform any field sobriety tests.”

Should I agree to take a chemical test?

If you refuse to take the chemical breath test, you will likely face a driver’s license suspension. A chemical test is not the same as a preliminary breath test. A preliminary breath test is usually done out on the road, and it is used by the officer to gather evidence to justify an arrest. Refusing the preliminary breath test results in a minor civil fine that does not go on your record. A chemical test, on the other hand, requires a blood draw or a breath sample in a Datamaster machine back at the police station. Refusing a chemical breath test or a blood test will likely result in a one-year suspension of your driving privileges.

It is okay to ask for an opportunity to speak to your attorney before deciding whether to take the chemical test?

There are substantial risks and benefits to either taking or not taking the test, and it would be helpful to have the advice of an attorney before making that decision. The officer must allow you to try and reach your lawyer. If you cannot readily reach your lawyer, the officer has the right to insist upon a decision. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are the DUI lawyers in Michigan that are always available to answer your questions – day or night.

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How do I find a highly qualified drunk driving lawyer?

The answer to that question is to do your research. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is a law firm that is solely dedicated to the defense of felony and misdemeanor criminal allegations in Michigan. Our attorneys have decades of experience defending and protecting clients with OWI charges. We are renowned for our effectiveness in court. There is a lot of science involved in defending a person facing a drunk driving charge. Our attorneys have worked with doctors, psychologists, scientists, former law enforcement officers, and prosecutors to be on the cutting edge of drunk driving defense. We will always go the extra mile to protect our clients and assure that they get the help and defense they need and deserve. You can count on the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.; we will not let you down. We are proud of our reputation for success, and we will provide you the same level of service that resulted in our unparalleled track record of success. We are here to help and not afraid to win!

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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