In The News

Thursday, October 18, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving

 Michigan drunk driving attorney Mike Nichols of Lansing is battling hard for every client – his latest challenge is convincing trial court judges about the “science of drunk.” Nichols says, “the science of drunk is what I refer to an arresting officer’s ability to determine if a person who he or she has never met before is intoxicated based on that person’s performance on the so-called standardized field sobriety tests.” Nichols is a published author of 2 treatises, one of which focuses on scientific evidence in DUI cases. He is calling on judges to require officers to testify completely about 3 things 1) whether the officer is trained on the National Highway Traffic Safety Standards (NHTSA) Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs); 2) what the NHTSA protocols are for administering AND scoring the SFSTs – if the officer knows – and 3) how the officer deviated from those protocols. “As a taxpayer, every Michigan resident should be frustrated that the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) passed new standards over 2 years ago that require that every officer must be certified on the NHTSA protocols,” Nichols says.

Recently, a trial court precluded expert testimony about the SFSTs, finding that they are not “scientific.” Nichols says “I certainly have no disagreement with the judge that the protocols are not ‘science’ – but why allow an officer to testify then that a citizen is ‘intoxicated.’ That testimony is going to have significant weight with a jury whether it is a trooper with the Michigan State Police or an officer with the Lansing Police Department, Michigan State University Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff Department or even the Jackson Public Safety department.”

Nichols is also certified by NHTSA in the SFST/DWI detection protocols as well as the drug recognition evaluation protocols. “The Michigan State Police are really pushing the DRE investigations to try to nab drivers who are under the influence of prescription medications and other types of drugs,” he says. Nichols adds: “I understand why, considering that the number of arrests for drunk driving are down – the government has to replace that revenue from somewhere.”

For a lawyer who has literally been declared an expert by at least one Michigan judge, who is on the cutting edge of the “science” behind sobriety, contact Mike Nichols at 517.432.9000 or mnichols@nicholslaw.net

Need a Lawyer?

Get an online consultation or call 517-432-9000

Online Consultation »

Do the Medicines You Take Criminalize Your Driving?

Family Law encompasses a broad range of issues that occur between family members. Our team can help you in all of these areas...

More »

Personal Injury / Traumatic Brain Injury Experts

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is one of the most frightening and serious forms of injury...

More »

Criminal Defense

We are skilled, experienced and committed to resuts in both the serious and misdemenor criminal case

Personal Injury

We have successfully represented clients with serious and traumatic injuries

What our clients are saying

more testimonials »

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.