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Have DUI Arrests Decreased During COVID-19?

September 16, 2020 DUI/OWI/DWI

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Michigan saw a steep drop in the number of DUI cases when citizens were ordered to stay home and bars were closed. However, we expect arrests to increase as bars and restaurants reopen and people resume their daily lives. Given the length of time we were under quarantine, however, it’s highly likely that the total number of DUI arrests will be significantly less than in years prior. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be arrested for DUI. If you find yourself facing charges, you should discuss your case with an Ann Arbor DUI attorney as soon as possible. 

DUI Charges are Often Unexpected

For those of us who have lost income due to the pandemic, going out to a bar or restaurant may not be in the budget right now. While there is nothing wrong with enjoying some drinks with friends or family while at home, you could be stopped and arrested for DUI on your way home or to go somewhere else. As in every other state, you can be charged with DUI in Michigan if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. Depending on your weight and several other factors, this could be far fewer drinks than you realize, perhaps as few as two drinks. You should also be aware that, under Michigan law, you can be charged with DUI even without a breathalyzer if the officer believes that you were driving while visibly intoxicated. 

Marijuana

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Michigan for people over the age of 21. However, it’s important to remember that, just as with alcohol, it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana. Any presence of marijuana in your system is sufficient to justify a DUI charge. 

There are a number of particular issues in a DUI case that involves marijuana. For example, marijuana can be detectable in your system far longer than alcohol. As a result, you may be able to challenge the assumption that you were impaired or that your impairment was due to the presence of marijuana. If you’ve been arrested for a marijuana-related DUI, an experienced Ann Arbor DUI attorney can evaluate your case and explain your options. 

What You Can Do

The best defense to a DUI charge is to avoid getting arrested in the first place. Here are some practical tips to avoid getting a DUI charge: 

  • The best option is to avoid driving altogether if you are drinking or using marijuana. Ask a friend to drive, order an Uber, or take public transportation. 
  • Do not drink or use marijuana in your car, even if you are not driving. You could be charged with DUI even if the engine is off. 
  • If you know you will have to drive later on, stop drinking long before you have to leave. If you are using marijuana, wait until you are certain that you are completely sober. 
  • Be mindful of your consumption and practice moderation. 
  • If you are on prescription medications, be aware of any side effects that may occur when combined with other substances. You can be charged with DUI while under the influence of prescription drugs. 

Charged with DUI? Contact an Ann Arbor DUI Attorney at ArborYpsi Law

A DUI conviction carries serious consequences – your license will be suspended, you face thousands of dollars in fines, and you could even go to jail. Fortunately, you don’t have to face your charges alone. Ann Arbor DUI attorney Sam Bernstein can help you get a fair result. Contact us today at 734-883-9584 for a free consultation to start putting your charges behind you.