dui in michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Arrests Increased In 2012

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Michigan drunk driving arrests increased in 2012, but executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police says overall trend is positive.

According to the Drunk Driving Audit, released Tuesday, the number of drunk and drug-related driving arrests in Michigan increased in 2012, in addition to the number of fatalities and injuries.

Officers throughout the state made 37,182 alcohol-and-drug-related driving arrests in 2012.

The number of deaths resulting from drug and alcohol-induced crashed increased 7.2 percent, from 319 in 2011 to 341 in 2012. Injuries saw an increase as well, jumping from 6,086 to 6,177.

Men, compared to female drivers were close to three times as likely to be arrested for impaired driving: 27,606 men were arrested last year compared to 9,576 women.

Despite the 2012 increases in impaired driving deaths and injuries, Col. Kristie Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police, believes the overall trend in Michigan is a positive one.

The number of traffic deaths involving alcohol or drugs has decreased by 9.8 percent over the past five years. Alcohol crash deaths have fallen 11.4 percent; drug-involved deaths 3.6 percent.

“I think you might see that the trend has hit a flat spot,” Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, said.

“The drop in road patrols has leveled off. They just couldn’t get any lower. As the economic climate improves, I think it’ll correspond with additional officers and you will see an increase in drunken-driving arrests.”

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer feels they are impaired. Under the state’s high BAC law, motorists face enhanced penalties if a first-time arrest is for a .17 BAC or higher.

Read more: https://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/07/michigan_drunk_drivings_increa.html

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can have devastating consequences. It is important for drivers to remain calm, and it is beneficial if a person is knowledgeable of the DUI laws in Michigan.

This is not the time to experiment with self-representation or plead to the charges “just to get it over with.” You need the expertise of a lawyer that specializes in OWI and DUI cases.

Michigan is a state with very strict drunk driving laws. According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning the average cost of a DUI / OWI conviction in Michigan is $15,680.00.

Every minute matters when it comes to defending yourself. Act now! Rudoi Law is available to help you 24 hours a day.



People v. Carruthers: Edibles Not Protected Under MMMA



By David Rudoi Esq.

July 22, 2013

On July 11, 2013 the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of People v. Carruthers. The case involved the issue of whether marijuana edibles made from marijuana extract are protected under Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Defendant was charged and convicted of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Among the marijuana Defendant was found in possession of were brownies that were individually labeled as weighing 3.1 ounces and containing 2 grams of marijuana. However, the brownies did not actually contain marijuana but contained “Cannabutter” or rather butter that was used to extract THC and other chemicals that marijuana contains.

Section 4 of the MMMA creates an immunity for the possession of “Usable Marijuana” under certain conditions. The court in People v. Carruthers focused on the differences between the definitions of “Usable Marihuana” as contained in section 3 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the definition of Marijuana as contained in the Michigan Public Health Code . The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act defines “Usable marihuana” as

“The dried leaves and flowers of the marihuana plant, and any mixture or preparation thereof, but does not include the seeds, stalks, and roots of the plant.” [MCL 333.26423(k).]

While the Michigan Public Health Code defines “Marijuana” as:

“All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. It does not include the mature stalks of the plant, fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, any other compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the mature stalks, except the resin extracted therefrom, fiber, oil or cake, or the sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination. [MCL 333.7106(3).]

The Court in People v. Carruthers ruled that the definition of Usable Marijuana contained in the MMMA is narrower than the definition found in the Public Health Code. Specifically, “Marijuana” under  the Public Health Code includes all parts of the cannabis plant as well as the resin extracted from any part of the plant as well as any every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin. However, the  definition of “usable marihuana under the MMMA does not include all parts of the cannabis plant, nor does it include the resin extracted from the plant or every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin.

Carruthers argued that marijuana extract is a mixture or preperation of the Marijuana flower and leaves and therefore should be considered usable marijuana within the definition contained in the MMMA section 3. However, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that because the definition of “usable marihuana”as contained in the MMMA section 3 specifically omits any reference to the resin extracted from the plant that it must have meant to exclude the resin extracted from the plant and therefore any preperation of the resin extracted from the plant cannot be considered ‘usable marihuana”.

The court also reasoned that the voters did not intend for marijuana extracts to be protected under the MMMA because of the strong potency and the fact that extract in an edible cannot be measured. The problem is that this is not true, marijuana extract in an edible can be measued the but the state lab is just currently incapable. Further, the potency of the extract serves the health and wellfare because it allows patients to maximize THC intake and minimize intake of other harmful chemicals. For these reasons I believe that the Michigan Court of Appeals incorrectly decided this case!

Marijuana Edibles are still protected under Section 4 of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act but they must be made with the actual leaves and flowers and not from extract. All resins and extracts of Marijuana are currently not protected under Section 4 of the MMMA but may still be defendable under the MMMA Section 8 Affirmative Defense. At Rudoi Law we are Medical Marijuana experts and can help you to learn your rights and protections under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and its connected case law.





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Police Drug Bust in Metro Detroit Includes 22 Sites

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Police drug bust results in major seizure of marijuana plants, processed marijuana, weapons and arrests.


After a seven-month investigation by federal, county and local police agencies, 22 raids took place  July 8th  on sites involved with alleged marijuana trafficking.

According to Michigan State Police officials, the raids occurred in Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw and Jackson counties.

Of the 22 locations raided, private businesses, home and four warehouses were included. Police seized more than 500 marijuana plants, a significant amount of processed marijuana and several weapons. Several arrests were also made by police.

One man was injured when a home in Ypsilanti Township was raided Sunday. A woman and child escaped unharmed.

At least one of the warehouses was in Detroit on the 6430 block of Epworth Street in an area east of Livernois Avenue and south of Tireman Street.

A number of agencies joined forces with the Michigan State Police in the drug bust, including the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the FBI and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department.

Other agencies involved in the effort were the Livonia Police Department, the Northville, Canton, Plymouth township police departments and the Western Wayne Special Operations Team.

From The Detroit News: https://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130708/METRO08/307080072#ixzz2ZtdATO6m



Salinas v. Texas: Implications For The Right to Remain Silent



Salinas v. Texas ruling will have major implications for criminal prosecutions.

Salinas v. Texas Supreme Court Ruling will have major implications.

Salinas v. Texas Supreme Court Ruling will have major implications.

By David Rudoi esq.

If you wish to utilize your constitutional right to remain silent, you better speak up.

A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court held that remaining silent does not guarantee American citizens from self-incrimination. Although it has avoided the media’s spotlight, the decision will play a significant role in future criminal prosecutions.

(Related: Medical marijuana immunity to be decided by trial judge)

The ruling dropped on June 17 in Salinas v. Texas, which involved the nature of a police questioning in a 20-year-old murder investigation which eventually led to the conviction of a Houston man.

Genovevo Salinas was subject to police questioning in January, 1993, regarding the murder of two brothers. At the scene, police discovered shotgun shell casings where Salinas was neither arrested nor read his Miranda rights — he agreed to allow the police to inspect his shotgun. The police asked if the shells would match his shotgun, but Salinas did not answer the question, and remained silent.

Salinas was later arrested on an unrelated traffic warrant, when police decided there was sufficient evidence to charge him with the previous murders. Salinas did not testify, but his response to police questioning — the fidgeting, lip-biting, etc. — was provided as evidence against him. Salinas’ silence was used against him; he believed his Fifth Amendment rights had been violated.

(Related: Study Finds Marijuana May Combat Depression and Lead to Higher Self-Esteem)

Salinas was convicted and sentence to 20 years in prison. He protested to the Court of Appeals of Texas in direct appeal that the prosecutor had unconstitutionally used his silence as evidence in the case against him, but the court rejected that argument. After reaching the United States Supreme Court, a 5-4 decision was made ruling that Salina’s self-incrimination privilege had not been violated, because he failed to say, “I’m invoking my right to remain silent.” Even despite the reality that Salinas wasn’t under arrest when he was questioned, and wasn’t read his Miranda rights as a result.

From the plurality opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito:

“Petitioner [Salinas] cannot benefit from that principle because it is undisputed that his interview with police was voluntary. As petitioner himself acknowledges, he agreed to accompany the officers to the station and ‘was free to leave at any time during the interview.’ Brief for Petitioner 2 – 3 (internal quotation marks omitted). That places petitioner’s situation outside the scope of Miranda and other cases in which we have held that various forms of governmental coercion prevented defendants from voluntarily invoking the privilege.”

Previously, the Supreme Court held that silence on its own is not enough for a suspect to invoke his or her Fifth Amendment rights. The difference here is that Salinas was not a suspect at the time he went silent; he was simply a witness brought in for questioning.

(Related: People v Koon: Michigan Supreme Court Rules Must Prove MMMA Patient is “Under The Influence” )

Alito was joined in his opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts. While the ruling has been overshadowed by this week’s Supreme Court’s decisions on affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act, the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8, it’s received its share of criticism in both journalistic and legal circles.

Read the full syllabus for Salinas v Texas here.

Located in Royal Oak, Michigan, Rudoi Law serves clients in Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Ferndale, Pontiac, Rochester, Troy, and West Bloomfield, as well as all other residents of Oakland County, Macomb County and elsewhere in the great State of Michigan.




People v. Jones: Medical Marijuana Immunity



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People v. Jones: Medical marijuana immunity to be decided by trial judge.

In the case of People v. Jones Michigan’s Court of Appeals reversed a Berrien Circuit Court Judge’s finding and held that the MMMA’s Section 4 “immunity fact-finding is a question for the trial court to decide. Accordingly, the trial court’s decision finding that § 4 immunity fact-finding is a question for the jury is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings where the trial court shall determine whether defendant is entitled to § 4 immunity.”

(Related: Study Finds Marijuana May Combat Depression and Lead to Higher Self-Esteem)

Additionally, the COA reasoned that “assigning the trial court the duty of determining factual questions regarding the applicability of § 4 immunity will result in a more expeditious resolution of immunity claims.”

Further issue in the case was whether the defendant, Cynthia Cherelle Jones, was a Michigander when she obtained her medical marijuana credentials. No findings were made by the COA regarding whether Ms. Jones had established residency in Michigan. However, they did “agree with the trial court that Michigan residency is a prerequisite to the issuance and valid possession of a registry identification card.”

(Related: How To Get A Medical Card In Michigan)

It remains to be seen whether the COA’s opinion would preclude an immediate appeal from being filed, prior to trial, if a judge determines that a person is not entitled to a dismissal of criminal charges under the MMMA’s Section 4 immunity provisions.



DUI Crash Sends UM Student To Youthful Offender Facility



DUI crash proves fatal, but defendant evades strict sentencing.

Twenty-year-old former University of Miami student, Ivanna Villanueva, who killed a woman in a devastating DUI crash two years ago has evaded the harshest sentencing.

(Related: Superdrunk Driving)

During a hearing Wednesday, Villanueva was lead away in handcuffs to begin three years in a youthful offender facility as part of a deal worked out with prosecutors — a deal that was anything but certain.

Villanueva turned herself in Tuesday to start serving her time for the fatal DUI, at the facility. There, she was required to take a drug test, but was unable to complete the first test. After taking the second test, she produced positive results for amphetamines.

(Related: DUI First Offense)

“It would’ve been a violation had they been illegal drugs but they were not. These were prescribed medications under healthcare and under doctors orders,” said Villanueva’s attorney.

The judge was presented with a full analysis of the test result along with a note from Villanueva’s doctor which stated that he prescribed her the medication for ADHD. In the event Villanueva had failed to pass the drug test, she would have been facing 15 years in jail.

As an additional part of her deal, Villanueva will serve 15 years of probation and perform a thousand hours of community service for the fatal 2011 accident which took the life of Eyder Ayala. Furthermore, she will be required to make a donation to Mothers Against Drunk Driving on the anniversary of Ayala’s death.

The accident occurred at the intersection of LeJeune Road and Majorca Avenue. Villanueva was speeding when she slammed into the rear Ayala’s car.   The impact from the crash was so severe that Ayala’s trunk was compact into the front seat.  Ayala, a mother to five and grandmother to seven, died at the scene.

David Rudio is an expert Michigan DUI Lawyer.

(Related: Drunk Driving In Michigan)

Toxicology tests revealed that Villanueva’s blood alcohol content was .231, nearly triple the legal limit of .08.

Ayala’s family has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Villanueva and her father, saying he is liable for her conduct. The multi-million dollar lawsuit claims Villanueva was “speeding, negligent and reckless” on the night of the accident.

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can have devastating consequences. It is important for drivers to remain calm, and it is beneficial if a person is knowledgeable of the DUI laws in Michigan.

(Related: Michigan DUI Statistics)

This is not the time to experiment with self-representation or plead to the charges “just to get it over with.” You need the expertise of a lawyer that specializes in OWI and DUI cases.

At Rudoi Law, we know how to discredit a super drunk designation on OWI (DUI) charges. Questioning the timing of the arrest and testing, the reliability of the equipment used, and the technician’s experience are all proven, winnable defense tactics.

If your case requires it, we also have access to leaders in the toxicology field to examine your specific case and to testify to the latest findings in the field. Furthermore, at Rudoi Law we know to how cross-examine state experts to expose the potential weakness of their equipment, personnel, and findings.

If you or someone you care about needs legal counsel for your drunk driving case, Rudoi Law is available 24 hours a day to help.

Call 248-935-9074 or email us at drudoi@rudoilaw.com.


Read more: https://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/06/19/um-student-in-deadly-dui-crash-may-get-stiffer-sentence/