LANSING, Michigan. According to the Detroit News, over 4000 people may have received incorrect results in faulty blood alcohol tests. According to the report, as many as 65 results may have shown higher blood alcohol concentrations than the individuals may have, in fact, had. In fact, the faulty tests have raised questions about whether there have been other errors in tests administered by the Michigan State Police. Some are questioning whether the State Police Forensic Science Division Toxicology Unit made critical errors that have not been caught.
The consequences of a drunk driving conviction in Michigan are serious. According to the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. in Lansing, individuals can face up to 93 days in jail for a first-time operating while intoxicated conviction. Individuals may additionally face a 6 month driver’s license suspension, a $1,000 fee, and may have to attend substance abuse counseling. These penalties don’t account for the hidden cost of having a DUI conviction. Individuals may face higher insurance fees, and they could have a criminal record which can impact their ability to travel, get jobs, or receive federal aid. Individuals who have higher blood alcohol concentrations or those who are repeat offenders face more serious consequences, including longer jail sentences and longer driver’s license suspensions.
The difference between being arrested with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 and 0.17 can be immense. Individuals found with the higher blood alcohol concentration face enhanced misdemeanor charges. This includes 180 days in jail, two years probation, and one year suspension of the driver’s license, among other serious penalties. Even a small misreading on a blood alcohol test can lead to serious changes in how a person is charged.
According to the Detroit News, as many as half of the 4,000 blood alcohol tests in questions may require corrections. The report suggests that the problem with testing pertains to cases between December 2015 and April 13, 2016. However, the issues don’t raise confidence in the police’s toxicology labs or police practices. The problems may not be limited to blood tests. Field sobriety tests, which are often used to determine whether a person should be arrested, have also been shown to have their own issues. According to NBC News, field sobriety tests can be difficult to pass even if you are sober. For instance, individuals with balance problems may have challenges passing the tests. One women who was administered the test failed. She explained that, as a mother of two, lack of sleep may have contributed to her difficulties.
The reality is that if you are facing a drunk driving charge in Michigan, it is important to protect your rights. Much is at stake and the penalties of a drunk driving conviction are serious. With known problems with Michigan’s blood alcohol tests, anyone facing charges would be wise to speak to a drunk driving attorney. The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. are drunk driving attorneys in Michigan who can assist you. Visit us at www.stushafer.com to learn more about how to protect your rights.