DUI law rewrite makes it tougher on prosecutors

Lawmakers in Lansing update a state law that deals with driving under the influence.

But instead of helping law enforcement crack down on drunk drivers, it's making the cases tougher to prosecute.

While rewriting the law to include drugged driving, lawmakers left out a key piece of evidence used in drunk driving cases -  the roadside sobriety tests.

Those tests help the officer gather visual evidence of an impaired driver.

"We did it for people with drug problems to actually help people with that in terms with sobriety and there may have been a technical issue and if there is we will get it corrected," Gov. Rick Snyder said.

Milford Police Chief Thomas Lindberg said about the sobriety tests, that "because of this language that was introduced and put into play in mid January, none of those tests are admissible at trial."

But that doesn't mean the field sobriety tests are useless.

"That information gathered by officers can be used as probable cause to get a breath, blood or urine sample and those would be admissible," Lindberg said.

Lindberg said he doesn't think the oversight will have a major impact on the cases.

"It doesn't mean any of the cases are going to be thrown out," he said. "It doesn't mean they are bad cases, it means the officers have to do good police work and make sure they follow through with their case."

There will be a fix to the problem according to Snyder.

"We will just run a new law through the legislature correcting any issues or problems and we will put that behind us," he said.


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