In The News

Thursday, October 11, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: OWI

The East Lansing City Council is currently discussing the possibility of repealing the 50/50 ordinance.  The 50/50 ordinance requires establishments that serve alcohol to receive at least 50% of their revenue from the sale of food.  It appears that the purpose of the ordinance was enacted sometime in the 1980s to keep downtown East Lansing from being overrun by bars and intoxicated college students.  Some establishments that were operating before the ordinance was enacted were granfathered in and are not held to the 50/50 requirement.

Reasons for repealing the ordinance appear to be efficiency.  Currently the establishments that serve alcohol are required to file quarterly reports which document both food and alcohol sales.  With repeal, the city would be able to reallocate the resources required to determine compliance to other areas.  The repeal would also help the establishments by not tying up their staff with the reports.

The city council discussed the repeal on October 9, 2012 and is expcted to continue the discussion at next Tuesdays meeting.  It is also possible that the city council will vote on repealing the ordinance at that meeting.

The possibility of increased alcohol sales at East Lansing bars carries the possibility of increasted traffic stops nad Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) investigations in East Lansing.  It is important to remember that law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion that a driver is involved in criminal activity or probable cause that a driver has committed a traffic infraction before an officer can make a legal stop.  If you have questions related to an OWI or other criminal matter, you need an attorney who is committed to results, call the Nichols Law Firm at (517) 432-9000.

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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.