Articles Posted in Alcohol Treatment

After a Michigan drunk driving arrest, the first thing on many people’s minds is: will I lose my job?  A recent story in the Detroit Free Press details how for many, the unfortunate answer is yes.

As the article explains, a public safety director for a city in Michigan was placed on leave because of an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge. Even though the case hasn’t concluded, the officer is already facing consequences for the OWI charge. The final “verdict” on this officer’s job status could depend not just on the result of the case but also how the officer handles himself before the case is finalized.

The Michigan DUI lawyers are the Barone Defense Firm always discuss this issue with clients immediately after they have retained the Firm. It is important to address this issue at the beginning rather than at the end of a case because getting ahead of the issue can help our client’s save their jobs. There are several things to consider including:

Possession or Use of Firearm Under the Influence in Michigan

All firearms are inherently dangerous, so naturally, it is against the law in Michigan to possess or use one under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Because of the danger posed by individuals who violate this law, penalties are quite significant and are set forth in the statute found at Michigan Compiled Laws sec. 750.237.

This statute defines “under the influence” the following three ways;

  1. You are “under the influence” of alcohol, drugs or a combination of alcohol or drugs, and/or
  2. You have a bodily alcohol level (BAC) of .08 or more, or are;
  3. You are impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.

This crime is categorized as a misdemeanor punishable by possible imprisonment for up to 93 days.  Additionally, if you are found guilty of this crime, you may also be required to pay a fine of not more than $100.00 for carrying or possessing a firearm, or both, and not more than $500.00 for using or discharging a firearm, or both.

I suppose the answer to this question depends in part on what one thinks is the central role of the DUI defense lawyer?  I think the vast majority of those asked, lawyers and clients alike, would answer the question this way: the purpose of the DUI defense lawyer is to help the client with their legal problem.  Maybe it’s the DUI lawyer’s job to try to get their client’s off.  At a minimum it is the DUI lawyer’s job to get their client a better result than they would have achieved without a lawyer.

This all seems very logical and right, but is this the only answer to the question?  And, is a pending criminal case the only problem a person facing a DUI has? In other words, does the DUI defense lawyer have any role in addressing any underlying addiction issues that may be present?  Perhaps most importantly the question is whether or not there is a relationship between the legal issue and the addiction issues?

Clearly there is a relationship between the two.  Simply stated, addressing any underlying addiction certainly will help improve the client’s legal issues.  The reason this is true has already been discussed on these pages.  See for example:

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings take place almost any time of the day or night all over the state.  Because of this you should have no problem finding a meeting to attend at a place and time that is convenient for you.

If you are new to AA then don’t assume that all meetings are like the first one you attend.  If you go to a particular location at a particular time, and feel like you don’t fit in with the other attendees, try a different time or location.

There are also many trade or profession specific AA groups.  For example, there are AA meetings for Judges and Lawyers, Dentists, Health Care Professionals and so forth.  You may benefit more from AA attendance with a group of your peers.

An interesting article was posted recently on legalnews.com entitled:  Expert Witness: Little Changes at DAAD Mean a Lot.  The article addresses the new DAAD form to be used for driver license restoration, among other things.  In his article the author, Michael G. Brock, correctly indicates as follows:

In December the DAAD made some subtle changes to their evaluation form that may not seem like a big deal, but might be the difference between a person getting his or her license reinstated and have to wait another year and try again.  The Substance Abuse Evaluation form is now the Substance Use Disorders Evaluation.  Other than the title, the only real change in the form is the order of information requested, and that the relapse history has been replaced by a section titled “Periods of Abstinence” and “Abated by What?”  Meaning the cause of the relapse; i.e., quit going to AA meetings and began hanging around drinking/using friends.

In practice, the biggest changes seem to be that the hearing officers are digging into the appellant’s background more than in the past, and they are interested in any substance the person has ever taken, including those taken for only a brief time recreationally and a long time ago.

Contact Information