Michigan drivers beware: Lawmakers have worked quickly to ensure that roadside sobriety tests can once again be used as evidence in court. The new legislation counteracts legislation enacted last year that had the unintended side effect of making these types of tests inadmissible in drunk driving cases, thus dramatically increasing the difficulty of earning a drunk driving conviction.
Public Act 315 of 2014 established new guidelines for enforcing drugged driving, making the existing laws tougher. However, this law also created a situation in which the legitimacy of field sobriety tests could be directly challenged. Says Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt, “It created an ambiguity in the statute where defendants are claiming, and an ever increasing number of judges across the state are accepting, that this renders all evidence of field sobriety tests inadmissible at trial.”
Legislators insist that the changes were completely accidental, and that it was not the legislature’s goal to weaken existing drunk driving enforcement. Thus, they were able to rapidly pass new legislation that once again affirms the use of roadside sobriety tests as evidence during court proceedings. An experienced and reputable Berrien County DUI attorney is your best ally when it comes to navigating current laws and in determining if the quick pace of the legislation might have some bearing on your case.
If you are stopped for drunk driving and a roadside sobriety test was performed, it is important that you have an attorney on your side who can defend your rights in court and work with you to find the best possible outcome. DUIs can be expensive and can impact your driving record for life if you handle them improperly. Thus, it is vital to work with a prominent Berrien County DUI attorney to forge ahead accordingly.