In The News

Sunday, February 12, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: OWI

      A Lansing man was stopped at 2:30 in the morning shortly before Christmas last year. His car's passenger side tires were straddling the lane marker. The officer asked him why? "This phase of the investigation is the personal contact phase," said OWI Attorney and author Mike Nichols. "The officers are trained that there are 3 phases in a DUI investigation: the vehicle in motion; the personal contact phase and the standardized fields sobriety test/PBT phase," Nichols added.
        The man refused to answer the officer's question, thanking him for pulling him over and asking him if he could go home. "The reason why this part of the case was handled so well is because the citizen asking to leave confirms that this is a full-blow detention by the officer and the officer has to add new facts to justify the continued detention."
        The officer asked the man to get out of the car and perform some sobriety tests. "The man continued to ask questions without admitting that he consumed even 1 drink," said Nichols. "However, his performance on the field sobriety tests was not perfect even though he seemed pretty sober," added Nichols. The officer offered the man a PBT and he refused. He was immediately arrested.
        Nichols said: "I watched this client's video of his breath test. I was amazed that he blew for nearly 20 seconds even though he is small and slightly-built. Despite that lengthy blow, his BAC was measured by the datamaster at .07."  The fun did not stop there: "He blew a .06 on the confirmatory test. Then, the officer told him he should have taken the PBT on the road because 'you could have driven.' He thought about it and then said 'well you probably would have been over on the road.' I could not believe what I was hearing as I watched the video," said Nichols.
        If that was not enough, the officer is seen on the video in the breath room refusing to shake the man's hand after the breath test. "This client happily paid a ticket for refusing the PBT and for improper lane use and his charge of impaired driving was dismissed. Even though the officer was probably annoyed, everyone did the right thing," added Nichols. Mike Nichols of East Lansing is the author of the OWI Handbook by West Publishing and an adjunct law professor. He is also the state delegate for Michigan to the National College for DUI Defense. You can reach him at 517.432.9000 or at mnichols@nicholslaw.net


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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.