In The News

In The News

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Michigan Drugged Driving Attorney Mike Nichols Shares His Expertise in Forensic Measurement at the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys Drugged Driving "Defended Relatively Easily" Conference in Grand Rapids

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols, Drunk-Driving

The difference between a reliable blood analysis for the presence of potentially impairing drugs and a blood analysis which is unreliable is proper validation; uncertainty and traceability. Mike Nichols of Meridian Township, a leader in the defense of those charged with driving while under the influence of drugs - taught lawyers from around Michigan about how to distinguish between them and expose the "bad blood."

Nichols says that spending the time and investing the funds to analyze deeply the data generated by the Michigan State Police Lab during a blood test is critical because of the subjective analysis used by police to try to arrest a person for drug-impaired driving. "These are the cases in which our parents, our grandparents, each and every one of us is in danger of arrest and prosecution when we have every right to believe that we are committing a legal act.

The Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys (MIAOWIA) was founded in 2011 by Nichols and several other lawyers to help raise the bar of drunk and drugged driving defense. Nichols says "the program for training officers in these cases is called the "Drug Recognition Evaluation or Evaluator program (DRE). It is a program in which law enforcement officers are trained to try to become doctors on the cheap. These officers are given a 12-step protocol to 'diagnose' impairment by a certain category of drugs.

Both types of testimony will probably have to undergo scrutiny by judges using Michigan Rule of Evidence (MRE) 702. For any blood analysis, the lawyer representing a person charged with drugged driving should consider bringing a motion to exclude the results of the blood analysis based on the application of the principles and methods of gas spectrometry/mass spectrometry. Nichols says "the lab struggles with identifying and measuring these complex compounds with complex instrumentation at minuscule amounts and it is difficult for even the most complex laboratory." Nichols' main office for the MichiganDUIDefender team is in East Lansing. He is an adjunct professor of forensic evidence in criminal cases and DUI Law and Practice at the Western Michigan University/Thomas M. Cooley Law School. The Grand Rapids campus of Cooley hosted the event.

For the lawyers who are committed to the science in the effort to be committed to results, contact the Nichols Law Firm at 517.432.9000 or e-mail Mike Nichols at mnichols@nicolslaw.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.