DUI Charge Dismissed – People v. Westland Client

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DUI CHARGE DISMISSED

PEOPLE V. WESTLAND CLIENT

In this very unusual case, a woman was arrested and charged with OWI drunk driving after her husband, an attorney, made a 911 call to Westland PD following a domestic dispute.

The husband reported that his wife was headed to a local restaurant to instigate a “fight” with another patron. He identified her by name, described the vehicle she was driving and the route she would be taking, and indicated to the police dispatcher that his wife was highly intoxicated.

Upon receiving the dispatch police proceeded to the restaurant in question and located the described woman sitting behind the wheel of her parked vehicle in the parking lot.

After making personal contact with the driver the police ordered her to exit the vehicle to perform a series of field sobriety tests.

She agreed to submit to a preliminary breath test (“PBT”) and was arrested after the results indicated a .15 BrAC. She was administered an evidential breath test (“EBT”) at the station which revealed a BrAC of .16.

After being engaged by the husband to represent his wife, Mr. Duke undertook a thorough and extensive examination of the discovery in the case including all video, audio and documentary evidence. He then filed motions in the 18th District Court challenging the legality of the initial arrest and the admissibility of the client’s EBT results.

Specifically, Mr. Duke argued that the Michigan Secretary of State Form DI-177 that was read to his client following her arrest was misleading and inaccurate because it contained admonitions that were not authorized by the Michigan Implied Consent Act. He further argued that since the language contained in the form was misleading, it rendered his client’s purported consent to the test “involuntary” under both state and federal precedent.

The People filed an extensive written response to Defendant’s motions and the Court conducted an evidentiary hearing where Mr. Duke aggressively cross-examined both officers who advised the Defendant of her chemical test rights and administered the EBT.

Following the hearing the Court issued a twelve page written opinion and order that ultimately resulted in the case being dismissed with prejudice.

Essentially, the judge agreed with Mr. Duke’s argument that the People had failed to meet their burden to show that the Defendant’s purported consent to the evidential breath test was voluntary under a totality to the circumstances. The City Attorney stipulated to the dismissal of all charges.