Michigan drivers arrested under suspicion of intoxicated driving will have their bodily drug and alcohol levels tested by the police. When drugs including marijuana are suspected, and in some cases involving alcohol, the police will take and test a blood sample. The forensic method used for blood testing is considerably more complicated than breath testing, and many lawyers wrongly believe that DUI cases involving blood tests can’t be defended. The Michigan DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm however believe that in some ways blood test cases are easier to defend. This belief is born out of a comprehensive knowledge about this complex scientific method.
To help other lawyers understand forensic blood testing in DUI cases, the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys (MIAOWIA) periodically presents seminars on this topic. Barone Defense Firm founding attorney Patrick Barone, and Partner Michael Boyle, were both closely involved in the creation of MIAOWIA, and Mr. Boyle currently serves as an officer to the group.
As an example of Mr. Boyle’s expertise as well as his commitment to helping other lawyers get better at defending Michigan DUI cases involving blood test evidence, in early October 2021, he served as a host, moderator, and presenter for the Michigan Association of OWI Seminar on Blood Alcohol. Mr. Boyle is an original member of MIAOWIA, which is membership dedicated to the education and training of attorneys throughout the State of Michigan in the complex litigation and representation of individuals charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs.
This most recent seminar focused on handling cases involving blood alcohol testing. One focus of the seminar was the discovery process. Discovery is the term used by lawyers to refer to the process of obtaining information that can be utilized in the defense of a case. In criminal cases, most discovery goes through law enforcement and must be requested. Because of the complexity of blood test cases, many DUI lawyers don’t even know what to ask for. Consequently, a big focus of the MIAOWIA seminar was to teach lawyers what to obtain in discovery, how to obtain it, and what to do with it.
In the State of Michigan, blood alcohol analysis is conducted by the Michigan State Police Forensic Laboratory using a technique known as Gas Chromatography. Mr. Boyle is one of only a handful of Michigan Attorneys that have had hands-on and extensive laboratory training on this specific technique. This means Mr. Boyle has been in the laboratory and has utilized the forensic equipment in his training. There is no substitute for this kind of training because there’s some things you just can’t learn, or learn as well, from books.
Mr. Boyle and the Barone Defense Firm have invested a substantial amount of time and resources to best understand the science and procedures and provide the clients of the Barone Defense Firm the representation they deserve. Mr. Boyle brings to his clients not only the scientific training but also significant courtroom experience that has resulted in suppression of blood alcohol reports and acquittals at trial for our DUI clients in the past.
In addition to being a host, Mr. Boyle was also a presenter at the seminar. His topic addressed how to obtain the necessary documentation from the Michigan State Police Laboratory through Discovery and Freedom of Information Act, a discussion on what should be included in the request, and how to properly analyze this information once obtained. In addition, he provided techniques for handling cross-examination and opening statements. He was joined on the Panel by Andrew Mishlove of Wisconsin, who serves the National College of DUI Defense as Course Director for Serious Science Blood Analysis; Andreas Stolz, an Associate Professor at Michigan State University who has served as an expert throughout the State of Michigan in District and Circuit Courts and a key contributor to uncovering many deficiencies in Breath and Blood Alcohol and Drug Testing; and Attorney Jeffery S. Crampton of Grand Law.
When asked what drives him to volunteer as an officer of MIAOWIA, and presenter at the seminar, Boyle responded, “many many years ago there were attorneys and experts in the field that graciously donated their time, their knowledge, their experience, to help me learn and to become one of the foremost specialists in this area of the law. This is my opportunity to give back to my profession.” Mr. Boyle further elaborated that it is “I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to my teachers and mentors. People like my partner Patrick Barone, and other nationally recognized attorneys. These include such august names as Josh Lee and Justin McShane, and my co-moderator Andrew Mishlove. I feel a responsibility to help educate other attorneys and help raise the level understanding in our State”, says Boyle.
Each presenter brought a helpful understanding of this complex area. Boyle added, “I never stop learning, and I always enjoy listening to another point of view no matter how many seminars or trainings I’ve attended’. To properly represent a client charged with driving under the influence of alcohol it is imperative to understand all aspects of the case, including and especially blood alcohol testing.
If you’ve been charged with intoxicated driving, including driving under the influence of marijuana, something about which Mr. Boyle has a particular expertise, then contact the Barone Defense Firm for your free no obligation case review.