In The News

Monday, May 7, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving

 A West Michigan man who suffers from Type I diabetes got his life back recently when OWI and Child Endangerment Charges in a Michigan court were dismissed on the eve of trial. The man was represented by Michigan OWI-OUID-OUIL attorney and professor Mike Nichols of Lansing. "The man was stopped for speeding on the way home from a family Christmas party," said Nichols. Nichols added: "the state trooper arrested him after field sobriety tests and a pbt showed an alleged breath alcohol content of .245. The client could not believe how high it was. The client's blood was drawn after he consented under the implied consent act. The blood came back at .11 - something obviously didn't make sense."
   Nichols, who is author of the OWI Handbook by West Publishing, retained local counsel in the rural northwest Michigan county where the case was heard. "We worked together to file a motion to exclude the blood alcohol estimate based on the fact that a diabetic or person who suffers from a similar condition CANNOT give consent under the implied consent act," Nichols said. He added "of course the PBT is inadmissible under Michigan law and further, the trooper administered the PBT within minutes of the client finishing his last glass of wine. The disparity in the 2 estimates shows just how unreliable a pbt can be."
   The matter was scheduled for trial but the prosecutor agreed to dismiss the case if the client plead to reckless driving based on the speed of his vehicle on a limited access freeway. "Considering that the prosecutor charged him with child endangerment because of the fact that the client was driving with his grandkids in the car as well as OWI - this was an offer that the man could not refuse."
   Nichols credits the fact that the team at the Nichols Law Firm worked quickly to learn the client's medical history and verify the diabetic condition for the prosecutor as the main reason why the blood estimate was excluded from trial. He said: "that was key. We are on a nice roll with excluding blood alcohol results because the procedures for collection or analysis are not being done properly in many of these cases." Nichols also credits the fact that the trial team was prepared and the prosecutor knew it: "this case would have been won or lost on the roadside sobriety tests so we hired an expert in standardized field sobriety tests (SFST), Dr. Lance Platt at www.plattandassociations.com to testify about the limitations of using these tricks as a predictor of impairment on someone of this age, with these physical limitations and especially, with how it appeared the arresting officer administered the tests. The prosecutor knew that Dr. Platt's plane was arriving and it was as if all I had to do was look at my cellphone during the final negotiations and say 'the eagle has landed' and that was the tipping point."
   For a lawyer who is trained on the science and is skilled, experienced and has had success combating the blood and breath test procedures in Michigan, contact Mike Nichols 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.