If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Michigan, you could almost spend forever reading websites and relevant blog articles. Sometimes, for as much information as a person can find, it is just better to avoid getting overwhelmed and simplify everything by finding a lawyer you can trust to examine and handle everything for you, especially if you’re not being overcharged or getting sold out. In my role as a Michigan DUI lawyer, I have published well over 250 DUI articles, and most of them are rather detailed, often providing an up-close examination of one, or just a few key aspects of the drunk driving case process. In this article, I want to skip all of that and focus, instead, on the very real experience of just wanting to get past a DUI as painlessly as possible while knowing that the facts of the case were properly checked out and that the course of action you choose is the absolute best, under the circumstances.
We cannot overlook that there is big money in the more complicated approaches marketed by some lawyers. The simple truth, however, is provided by the Michigan State Police Annual Drunk Driving Audit. This audit is required by law and accounts for every single drinking and driving arrest that takes place each year, as well as every step taken in every one of those cases in every court within the state: Last year (2015), out of 43,553 DUI and related arrests in Michigan, only 62 people fought their cases at trial and won. That equals .144% or, to put it in words, zero point one four-four percent, meaning less than .15 percent. Over the last 5 years, from 2011 through 2015, there have been 244,839 DUI related arrests in Michigan; only 334 of those people went to trial and were found “not guilty” dropping the average success rate from .144 in 2015 to .136% over that 5-year period. A quick perusal of lawyer websites reveals the popular marketing tactic of listing all the things that “could” potentially be wrong with a DUI case, although, as the numbers show, not often enough to even equal a one-quarter of one percent acquittal rate. A variation on this theme is to run through all the things the police must get right for a DUI charge to stand up in court. You can do that with just about anything in life and make success sound like a miracle, but the fact is, we all do things involving multiple steps a million times every day without incident. Making coffee can be made to seem like a ballet of complicated and risky steps, but for most of us, it’s something we do almost on auto-pilot. Once in a while, we might turn on the coffee maker before we’ve added water, or maybe added 1 scoop of coffee too few, or too many, or even drop and break the mug, but those are the exceptions, and not the rule. Ditto for DUI arrests.
At the end of the day, a DUI case is all about being able to prove that a person arrested was over the legal limit at the time he or she was driving. The protections of the legal system are put in place to keep an innocent person from being found guilty of a crime he or she didn’t commit. If you were not drinking, or you only had 1 or 2 drinks with dinner, then the system is supposed to prevent you from being convicted of DUI. If you did have a few too many, however, then your only hope to get out of the case completely is that the police hopelessly bungled the evidence against you. And while things do go wrong for the police once in a while, for the most part, they’re typically not botched so catastrophically that you’ll find a Judge who is anxious to throw a DUI charge out of court. Judges do NOT view drunk driving cases as a game in which they sit and just hope to find some technical little flaw in the evidence so that they can dismiss all charges. When is the last time you ever heard of that happening in a drinking and driving case, or, for that matter, ever heard about a Judge known for being “easy” on drunk drivers? The answer, of course, is never.