Driving Drunk in Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Keego Harbor, etc.

If you are arrested for Operating While Intoxicated in an community where the
jurisdiction resides in the 48
th District Court, you have a good chance of going to jail.
I recently defended a client who was arrested for OWI. In Michigan the law applies to “operating” not “driving”. So if you are even sitting in a vehicle with the keys in the ignition or the engine running, but not actually driving, you still are in violation of the law.

My client had a blood alcohol level of .35. He should have been dead. He was not seen driving but was arrested sitting in his vehicle, with the motor running, and sitting in the parking lot. In his center console was a pistol for which he had a valid permit, but under law, you cannot carry a gun, even with a valid permit, when intoxicated.

My client is now spending the next 30 days in the Oakland County Jail. This is a victory. He could have been sentenced to 6 months. While I always go home depressed when a client goes to jail, in this case, I didn’t feel so bad. He will spend 23 days in total with credit; he is regularly attending AA meetngs, and hasn’t had a drink since he was arrested. And he could have spent, according to the law, 6 months in jail. And jail is not particularly pleasant. The toilet is in the middle of the cell, there are no doors, and the food, Tuesday is not “Steak and Lobster Night”

If you are going to drink in the jurisdiction of the 48
th District Court, take a taxi. They don’t care if you drink but they do care if you drink and drive and are over the legal limit.