Drunk Drving Defenses

Although there are many defenses to your Michigan drunk driving case, there are a few which frequently occur in our practice.  Using these defenses, we have successfully litigated many cases for our clients.


The rising blood alcohol defense takes place when your blood alcohol level rises from the time of the stop to the time when the blood or alcohol test is given.  As the body absorbs alcohol, it enters the blood stream.  However, this process takes a considerable amount of time.  Because of this, you could have consumed a few shots of alcohol and the resulting blood alcohol level would not reach its peak until hours later.  This is important if you took a few shots, then were stopped a short time later.  By the time you are given the admissible chemical test, an hour or two could have passed.  Thus your blood alcohol level was below the legal limit when stopped, and then it rose to its peak rate when you took the chemical test.


GERD, or as it is scientifically known, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is the medical terminology for what we call acid reflux or indigestion.  When taking a breath test, such as the Datamaster, the alcohol coming from the stomach caused by GERD can materially alter the test.  In other words, if you were suffering from indigestion at the time you took the breath test, the air sample collected by the breath test machine could have incorrectly read what your blood alcohol was at the time of the test.


In Michigan when dealing with a suspected drunk driver, the officer is likely to use a machine called the Datamaster to test your blood alcohol.  This test is always done in either the police station or jail and unlike a roadside preliminary breath test (pbt), its results are admissible at your OWI trial.  However, in order for the test to be properly admitted, there are numerous requirements which must be met.  First, the operator of the Datamaster has to be certified.  Second, the Datamaster machine has to have been properly calibrated.  Third, there are stringent requirements on how the test is performed.  If it is given incorrectly, case law indicates that the results of the Datamaster test must be suppressed.


A major argument that we make when dealing with drunk driving cases is that the field sobriety tests given by the officers are both scientifically unreliable and not given properly.  In Michigan, a field sobriety test is only admissible if the officer properly performed the test.  However, it is our experience that when dealing with a drunk driving arrest, most often, officers fail to administer the test correctly.  Additionally, there are only a few standardized field sobriety tests which have a basis in scientific study.  The vast majority, such as the Alphabet test, have no scientific basis to show that the inability to perform the test has any correlating characteristics with intoxication.

If you have been charged with a drunk driving case in Michigan, call us or email us today.  Our attorneys believe in what they do and they believe in your innocence.  We are industry recognized leaders in criminal representation and we fight to win.