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MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

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bmw
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MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:19 am

Here is an article explaining why the lower courts threw out the violation:

https://www.freeadvice.com/news/Crimina ... -legal.htm

and while the language of the ruling is not yet public, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

http://www.wnem.com/story/35958655/cour ... n-driveway

While I have no sympathy whatsoever for anybody who gets behind the wheel drunk, given the exact circumstances of this case and the exact language of the law, I think the MI Supreme Court got this one wrong. The intent of the law to to protect others from harm you might cause them, but backing out of and pulling back into your own garage, far away from the road or from the sidewalk does not generally pose a threat to others.

TC Shuts Up
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by TC Shuts Up » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:36 am

A couple of follow ups. If a person blew a .02 driving in his own driveway, should he lose his CPL? What was his BAC, no, I didn't read articles yet?

I think this is a way overreach by government with no benefit to the public at large, like the guy who left his car running in the driveway. This is the not the camel's nose just under the tent, but up your skirt or kilt to your privates.
Never eat Sushi past its expiration date.

NS8401
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by NS8401 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:29 pm

bmw wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:19 am
Here is an article explaining why the lower courts threw out the violation:

https://www.freeadvice.com/news/Crimina ... -legal.htm

and while the language of the ruling is not yet public, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

http://www.wnem.com/story/35958655/cour ... n-driveway

While I have no sympathy whatsoever for anybody who gets behind the wheel drunk, given the exact circumstances of this case and the exact language of the law, I think the MI Supreme Court got this one wrong. The intent of the law to to protect others from harm you might cause them, but backing out of and pulling back into your own garage, far away from the road or from the sidewalk does not generally pose a threat to others.
How are they supposed to know you aren't going to take the car onto the road? It's much simpler to just make it a blanket rule...

bmw
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:39 pm

NS8401 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:29 pm
How are they supposed to know you aren't going to take the car onto the road? It's much simpler to just make it a blanket rule...
Then re-write the law. My gripe is with the court's interpretation of the existing law.

Also, by your logic, we might as well ban alcohol altogether, because how are cops supposed to know that once you drink alcohol that you aren't going to get behind the wheel?

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Turkeytop
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by Turkeytop » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:51 pm

Can the cop enter your property without a warrant to administer the sobriety test?

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craig11152
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by craig11152 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:55 pm

bmw wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:39 pm
Also, by your logic, we might as well ban alcohol altogether, because how are cops supposed to know that once you drink alcohol that you aren't going to get behind the wheel?
Huh? I see no logic there at all. In this case the guy was behind the wheel, the car was turned on and he was actually driving it. That seems like a reasonable point to intervene.
Finally, he switched to a bone saw to finish the job, and at 9:17 p.m., Mountain time, the head of the greatest hitter who ever lived had been sliced off.

NS8401
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by NS8401 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:07 pm

bmw wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:39 pm
NS8401 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:29 pm
How are they supposed to know you aren't going to take the car onto the road? It's much simpler to just make it a blanket rule...
Then re-write the law. My gripe is with the court's interpretation of the existing law.

Also, by your logic, we might as well ban alcohol altogether, because how are cops supposed to know that once you drink alcohol that you aren't going to get behind the wheel?
I doubt very much that he was going back and forth in his driveway paying careful attention not to cross the end of it... therefore he would pose a threat to others... if they have reasonable suspicion they can stop the operator of a motor vehicle... simple.

bmw
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:08 pm

The law says in a place "generally accessible to motor vehicles." The question is whether where he was in such a location when the cops intervened. NS specifically used the word "road." My logic applies if you don't buy the argument that one's garage and the driveway immediately outside of it, at a reasonable distance from the road and sidewalk, are generally accessible to motor vehicles.

What's next? Is my front porch considered generally accessible to the public and thus treated as a public place for the purpose of any law that distinguishes between behavior on private property and behavior in public?

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:12 pm

NS8401 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:07 pm
I doubt very much that he was going back and forth in his driveway paying careful attention not to cross the end of it...
Read the first article I posted. This is precisely what he did.
After drinking a considerable quantity of alcohol, Gino Rea decided to enjoy the sound system in his Cadillac sedan. The car was parked in Rea’s driveway. A neighbor complained to the police that the music was too loud. When the police arrived, Rea was sitting in the car with the door partially open. The police told him to turn down the music.

The neighbor made a second complaint. When the police responded, they heard no music and did not see the Cadillac.

The police returned after receiving a third complaint. They saw the door on Rea’s detached garage open, then watched Rea drive his car out of the garage and down the driveway. The car traveled about 25 feet but it did not pass the front of Rea’s house. Photographs show that Rea would have needed to drive a good distance more to reach the sidewalk or the street.

Rea stopped and drove his car back into the garage, perhaps after noticing the presence of police officers in his yard. After he exited from the car and began to walk toward his house, the police arrested him for operating while intoxicated.
Now obviously the question of whether he intended to actually drive on the street and just saw the cops so changed his mind is speculative, and it would be impossible to prove intent, so that issue aside, his car never got close to the road or the sidewalk.

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craig11152
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by craig11152 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:12 pm

Turkeytop wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:51 pm
Can the cop enter your property without a warrant to administer the sobriety test?
In general a cop can enter your property for probable cause if they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed or a crime is being committed. In this case, since they already interacted with the guy once they could have had probable cause to believe he was drunk driving his car. At that point a good cop would make an arrest, even if the car is in the driveway and let a prosecutor decide whether to file charges. A good cop isn't going to leave if he knows the defended is extremely drunk and was operating his car.
Finally, he switched to a bone saw to finish the job, and at 9:17 p.m., Mountain time, the head of the greatest hitter who ever lived had been sliced off.

bmw
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:19 pm

craig11152 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:12 pm

...In this case, since they already interacted with the guy once they could have had probable cause to believe he was drunk driving his car....
And what fact or set of facts exactly establishes such probable cause in your opinion? That he was sitting in his car, in his driveway, listening to music? The article is unclear whether the cops suspected he had been drinking when they first told him to turn down the music, but even if they were, they should have asked him some questions about what he had been doing that night and warned him of any consequences of driving his vehicle. Simply sitting in a parked car listening to music I would not define as operating a motor vehicle.
At that point a good cop would make an arrest, even if the car is in the driveway and let a prosecutor decide whether to file charges. A good cop isn't going to leave if he knows the defended is extremely drunk and was operating his car.
So arrest now and ask questions later? Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Hmmmm....you know, I don't know if this guy is breaking the law or not, so I'll just arrest him and let the prosecutor figure it out. Yeah, that's what a good cop does. /SARCASM

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Turkeytop
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by Turkeytop » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:32 pm

So if I'm just backing the car out of the garage into the driveway to wash it, The cop would not have probable cause?

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by audiophile » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:43 pm

craig11152 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:12 pm
Turkeytop wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:51 pm
Can the cop enter your property without a warrant to administer the sobriety test?
In general a cop can enter your property for probable cause if they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed or a crime is being committed. In this case, since they already interacted with the guy once they could have had probable cause to believe he was drunk driving his car. At that point a good cop would make an arrest, even if the car is in the driveway and let a prosecutor decide whether to file charges. A good cop isn't going to leave if he knows the defended is extremely drunk and was operating his car.
I agree. You don't want to wait until someone gets killed.
Ask not what your country can do FOR you; ask what they are about to do TO YOU!!

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craig11152
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by craig11152 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:25 pm

Turkeytop wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:32 pm
So if I'm just backing the car out of the garage into the driveway to wash it, The cop would not have probable cause?
I'm not sure I understand the question. For starters there is no hard definition of probable cause. It is often at the heart of individual cases and is decided case by case whether probable cause existed at the moment an arrest was made.
If you are " just backing the car out of the garage into the driveway to wash it..." of course they is no probable cause.
On the other hand if the cops were making their third visit to your house in a short period of time, base on neighbor complaints, and if during one of those previous visits you appeared drunk to them, sitting in your car, then on the third visit when you were moving your car that might seem like probable cause to a cop.
I don't necessarily agree with the court decision but I have no problem with the cops decision at the time.
Finally, he switched to a bone saw to finish the job, and at 9:17 p.m., Mountain time, the head of the greatest hitter who ever lived had been sliced off.

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craig11152
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by craig11152 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:02 pm

bmw wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:19 pm
And what fact or set of facts exactly establishes such probable cause in your opinion? That he was sitting in his car, in his driveway, listening to music? The article is unclear whether the cops suspected he had been drinking when they first told him to turn down the music, but even if they were, they should have asked him some questions about what he had been doing that night and warned him of any consequences of driving his vehicle. Simply sitting in a parked car listening to music I would not define as operating a motor vehicle.
As I suggested there is no hard definition of probable cause. and I am speculating. But the guy was probably some level of drunk the first time they were there. So the third time when he was operating his car they may very well have assumed he was still drunk.


bmw wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:19 pm
At that point a good cop would make an arrest, even if the car is in the driveway and let a prosecutor decide whether to file charges. A good cop isn't going to leave if he knows the defended is extremely drunk and was operating his car.
So arrest now and ask questions later? Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. Hmmmm....you know, I don't know if this guy is breaking the law or not, so I'll just arrest him and let the prosecutor figure it out. Yeah, that's what a good cop does. /SARCASM
Who said they didn't ask some questions first?
Plus lets look at the scoreboard...
The guy was drunk...score one for the cops
The guy was (In his driveway) operating a motor vehicle drunk....score two for the cops
That was deemed legal by 2 lower courts....score two for the defendant
That was deemed illegal by the Michigan Supreme court ...score 3 for the cops.

And for the record if he is convicted it will be a third offense drunk driving, the other two were NOT in his driveway.
Finally, he switched to a bone saw to finish the job, and at 9:17 p.m., Mountain time, the head of the greatest hitter who ever lived had been sliced off.

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by TC Shuts Up » Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:56 pm

The thing is, we don't know where this is headed. People from the hippie era called such overreach "police state tactics". I wonder what craig would say if it were something like marijuana involved and not alcohol. Obviously its different but kind of like if a police officer came to your door and smelled pot because a stoner with reeking clothes had just been there and left. Maybe he just rang the doorbell. Should they be allowed to then search your house for marijuana? It would give the police an excuse to search nearly every dormitory room in the country.
Never eat Sushi past its expiration date.

bmw
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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by bmw » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:59 pm

For you legal scholars out there, and if you want to really get into the weeds of statutory construction of the phrase "generally accessible," here are the rulings.

The lower court ruling:

http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov/OPINION ... -FINAL.PDF

The Michigan Supreme Court ruling:

http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov/OPINION ... -FINAL.PDF

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by In The Bleachers » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:13 pm

craig11152 wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:25 pm
....
if the cops were making their third visit to your house in a short period of time, base on neighbor complaints ....
Well Craig, I think you pretty much sum up what I thought when I first read this thread.
The cops had already been out twice telling him to quiet it down. They decided to spank him for being stupid, and making them come a third time.

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by WOHO » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:36 pm

Well, if it is 'stupid is as stupid does' then he deserves a ticket, but if I want to drive on my own private property and rearrange the car in the driveway, as long as I don't hit the gas meter, there's no reason for the PD to be watching me or intervening on MY private property, IMO?

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Re: MI Supreme Court rules it is illegal to drive drunk in your own driveway

Post by TC Talks » Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:25 pm

My kid drove my car around my neighborhood when he was 12. The streets are all private, if he doesn't create an accident there is nothing police can do. Even if he did, it's technically a civil dispute between two people who share property ownership.

I wonder if the alcohol laws apply to my private roads.
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