In The News

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pushing You Over The Limit

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Drunk-Driving, OWI

This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that all states lower the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to have while operating a vehicle from .08 g/210 liters of breath  to .05 g/210 liters of breath. This reduces by more than a third. The NTSB justified this recommendation but citing the thousands of deaths per year that occur, according to the NTSB, because of drivers who are not legally drunk but are nonetheless  impaired by alcohol.  There is already great skepticism about the NTSB’s recommendation. In a New York Times article (found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/us/legal-limit-drunken-driving-safety-board.html), quotes Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute: “Moving from .08 to .05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior.” Even Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) would rather “pursue other remedies” to combat drunk driving. 

The NTSB’s recommendation comes on the heels of a controversy involving Michigan’s legal limit. The threshold for violating the "per se" blood/breath/urine alcohol content was scheduled to revert from .08 g/210 liters of breath/100 mL of blood/67 milliliters of urine  to .10 on October 1, 2013. The Michigan legislature quickly pounced on the opportunity to cater to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the law enforcement community by overwhelmingly approving legislation to keep the rate at .08. The House passed this so-called ‘Lafontaine legislation’ on March 20th, 2013. The Senate passed the bill on April 24, 2013.
If you need an attorney who will fight for your rights regardless of the legal limit, contact 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.