ArborYpsi Law stays current on Michigan drunk driving law. Below are snapshots of articles we’ve written on cases from the law few years with links to our full analysis of the cases in each paragraph.
People v. Miller
The Supreme Court ruled that multiple punishments for operating while intoxicated and operating while intoxicated causing serious impairment of a bodily function violates the Double Jeopardy clause. The OWI statue expressly authorizes multiple punishments for certain convictions, but was silent on these two types of cases. Therefore, the Court ruled the legislature specifically declined to authorize multiple punishments for this combination of convictions. Read our full article of People v. Miller here.
People v. Lyon
The Court ruled an electric scooter was a vehicle for purposes of the OWI statute. The Defendant in this case drove his electric scooter down the side of the road while intoxicated and with an open beer can. The Defendant argued his scooter was not a vehicle, therefore he could not have violated the drunk driving law or the open container law. The Court disagreed, ruling that although an electric scooter may not be a traditional vehicle, it was nevertheless a vehicle which causes it to fall under the ambit of the Motor Vehicle Code drunk driving statute. Read about People v. Lyon in our Blog Article on the case.
People v. Roger
The Michigan Supreme Court held that a snowmobile driven while intoxicated on a highway is an act that can be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicle Code operating while intoxicating statute, not just the snowmobile act. Driving a snowmobile while drunk on a road is an act that falls under the statutes of both the Vehicle Code and the snowmobile act, therefore the prosecutor has the discretion to charge under either statute. Read ArborYpsi Law’s full article on the topic here.
People v. Rea
Rea was intoxicated in his vehicle when he was stopped in the upper portion of his driveway by a police officer. Rea had not yet made it to the street. Rea’s driveway was opened to the street and not blocked off in any way. On appeal, Rea argued his location was outside the scope of the OWI statute. The Court didn’t agree. The Court held that his driveway was generally accessible to motor vehicles, and therefore fell under the scope of the OWI statute. Read our article on Can You Drink and Drive in your own Driveway? This case is a good example on how the Michigan DUI laws continue to expand in scope and size.
Plymouth v. Longeway
In this case, the Defendant had an unlawful blood alcohol level. She got in her car, turned the car on, applied the brakes, put the car in reverse, did not move the car, and put the gear back in park. The Court of Appeals ruled these actions were sufficient for the “operation” prong of operating while intoxicated. This case shows how the Court will view the act of “operating” in the OWI context to include most acts. Read on about Plymouth v. Longeway in our ArborYpsi Law analysis.
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Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Washtenaw County.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.