In The News

Monday, November 5, 2012


By Michael Nichols
Categories: OWI

An Eaton County Judge has ruled that district court judge Julie Reincke committed an error that should be reversed in a drunk driving trial in 2011. “The judge allowed the head of the alcohol enforcement unit to ‘sponsor’ or ‘authenticate’ a paper on the performance of the breath test instrument used in Michigan even though he was not qualified to do so,” says Michigan drunk driving attorney Mike Nichols. Nichols adds, “Michigan State Police sergeant Perry Curtis testified that all he did was give the test subjects alcohol and snacks and then looked at the datamaster tickets when they were printed up after tests: that’s not enough to allow for the admission of the paper through Sgt. Curtis’s testimony.”

Despite Sgt. Curtis’s lack of credentials, Judge Reincke admitted the paper to be admitted before the jury. The paper is called “Comparing the Analytical Capabilities of the Datamaster and Datamaster DMT.” It was published as a technical note in the journal of forensic sciences, even though it does not appear that the data was peer reviewed. Nichols says “this was a case involving a .08 and .07 breath estimate and whether there was reasonable doubt about the tests as proof that the man was above the legal limit was a huge component of the case. I’m pleased that circuit court judge Thomas Eveland found that admitting the paper to support the prosecutor’s argument about the accuracy of the instrument was what is known as reversible error – meaning our client gets a new trial.” The case was sent back to the district court for a new trial to be scheduled in the future. A redacted copy of the opinion is attached.

For a lawyer who knows how to make a record at trial as well as give you your best day in court, contact Mike Nichols at mnichols@nicholslaw.net or 517.432.9000.

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.