Alcohol and Drug Related Driving Offenses
We are a real DUI firm, not one who pretends to be. At Brandt & Dehncke, PLLC, we do not take a case intending to plead our client guilty at the first offer by the Prosecutor.
A good DUI lawyer has to review a number of factors:
1. Traffic Stop: An attorney needs to look carefully at the reason for the traffic stop, not just what the officer said, but what was actually observed.
2. Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST): There are only 3 standard sobriety tests:
• Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus;
• Walk and Turn; and
• One-Leg Stand Test.
3. Arrest Decision: What is the basis of that decision?
• Observations of driving;
• Observation of SFST;
• Preliminary Breath Test (PBT).
Many attorneys do not understand the administrative rules that govern the administration of a PBT. It is critical that your attorney be familiar with those rules, as a violation of those administrative rules can result in a dismissal of charges.
4. Chemical Tests: After arrest, a driver is required to take a chemical test, either:
• DataMaster Breath Test (DMT): This is a machine that measures alcohol content in your breath. Attorney Alfred Brandt has successfully fought the results of this machine and has had felony drunk driving cases dismissed as a result of challenging the results of the machine. He remains the only Jackson based attorney to have been successful at attacking the DMT results.
• Whole Blood Test: An officer can get a driver’s blood either through the driver’s consent or through a search warrant. Usually the blood sample is sent to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab. Attorney Alfred Brandt has successfully challenged the Michigan State Police Crime Lab results as being inaccurate and obtained dismissal of all charges against his client. Mr. Brandt remains the only Jackson based attorney to challenge the scientific basis of the Michigan State Police Crime Lab results, and win.
A good DUI lawyer fights for his client and keeps learning.
Attorney Alfred Brandt has been fighting DUI cases for over 30 years and yet he keeps learning. He goes annually to the Michigan OWI Lawyers Association meeting in May at Michigan State University to improve his skills. In fact, he is the only Jackson based lawyer to go to these seminars. Most recently, he was one of 60 attorneys statewide who participated in an OWI Seminar at Cooley Law School that covered the issues the State of Michigan has with its DMT machines. He remains the only Jackson based attorney to successfully challenge the DMT results and get his clients’ DUI charges dismissed.
Charge: Operating While Intoxicated, 3rd, as 2nd Felony
Defendant was stopped by the Michigan State Police on October 5, 2019, at 12:45 a.m. The allegation was that Defendant did not have his headlights on, his windshield was cracked and his license plate was unreadable. The Michigan State Police Trooper indicated he could smell the odor of alcohol. Defendant was given Standard Field Sobriety Tests and subsequently arrested. At the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Defendant was given a breath test on a DataMaster. The results were .18 and .19.
Mr. Brandt challenged the DataMaster results as being unreliable. He is the only Jackson based attorney to challenge DataMaster results on the basis of improper maintenance of the machine. Mr. Brandt filed a Motion to dismiss the charges based on the unreliable DataMaster results.
On March 10, 2020, all felony charges were dismissed.
Charge: Operating with Presence of Drugs
Allegation: Defendant had active THC in his system
Mr. Brandt filed a Motion to dismiss the case due to Standard Field Sobriety Tests not being validated for driving under the influence of THC. He lost the Motion and the matter was scheduled for Trial.
Mr. Brandt challenged the lab results from the Michigan State Police Crime Lab, specifically that the chemist has previously lied under oath and that his report was false.
On February 19, 2020, the case was dismissed.
Charge: Operating While Intoxicated, 3rd
Defendant was stopped for defective equipment and because the owner of the vehicle had a suspended license. Defendant (driver) was asked to step out of the vehicles. The Michigan State Police Trooper stated he could smell alcohol and Marijuana on Defendant. Defendant was given Standard Field Sobriety Tests, arrested and taken to jail. The lab report indicated that he had THC in his system.
Mr. Brandt fought the charge pointing out that Standard Field Sobriety Tests are not valid to determine impairment of driving under the influence of THC. The use of Marijuana is legal in the State of Michigan. Absent any proof of impaired driving, the charges must be dismissed.
On January 31, 2020, all felony charges were dismissed.
Charge – Fleeing & Eluding
On July 19, 2019, Defendant was stopped by a Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy based on running a license plate that showed the driver had a parole violation. Defendant was the driver and was arrested on the parole violation. The Deputy alleged that Defendant did not pull over immediately when the Deputy activated lights and sirens and arrested Defendant for Fleeing & Eluding.
Mr. Brandt fought the charges at Preliminary Examination.
On October 2, 2019, the case was dismissed.
Charge – OWI, 3rd
On February 3, 2019, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to an unknown accident. Upon arrival, the deputy observed a car in the ditch. Defendant was at the scene with his personal truck and a trailer and was backing up to the vehicle to remove it from the ditch. The deputy could smell alcohol coming from Defendant and he was given Standard Field Sobriety Tests and subsequently arrested. At the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Defendant was given a DataMaster breath test. The results were .07 and .08.
Mr. Brandt filed a Motion to have the case dismissed based on a lack of probable cause. That Motion was denied.
Mr. Brandt then filed a Motion to dismiss based on the unreliability of the DataMaster results.
On March 13, 2020, the case was dismissed.