As the months get warmer, it's time for many Michigan residents to get out of the house and on to a boat. There may be nothing more relaxing than cruising across the lake in the summer heat, stopping periodically to take a plunge into the water. But can you also kick back with an icy cold beer on the boat? In Michigan, certain traditional rules of drinking and driving do not apply to boating. Understanding these rules may be the difference between enjoying a day on the lake and spending a night in jail.
According to the 2011 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Annual Report, marijuana use among men who were arrested last year continues to grow. The recently released report took into account thousands of drug tests and interviews with people who were arrested for all types of misdemeanors and felonies, not just for drug crimes.
The University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University have compiled a list of people who have been wrongly convicted of a serious crime in the United States. Several reasons have been given, but the disturbing reality is that in just over 20 years, 2,000 people have been sentenced to prison for a crime they did not commit.
Across the country, changes are being made to the classification of strangulation. In many states, strangulation charges are still prosecuted as misdemeanors. Impeding someone's breathing without intent to cause fatal injuries was one of many behaviors charged as assault or battery. However, non-fatal choking, as it is referred to, is receiving some special attention in Michigan and across the country recently.
For most adults, it can generally be assumed that we have all made mistakes as teenagers. Young people test boundaries and take risks that they may look back on as adults and wish they had not done. Is it really fair, then, to hold a juvenile responsible for the rest of their lives for a mistake made in his or her youth? Keeping a young person certified as a juvenile in court may be the difference between an appropriate punishment and a life sentence.
We have been following the case against Rima Fakih and her alleged drunk driving offense last December. This week, the former Miss USA and Michigan resident was sentenced. She has pled no contest to one count of operating a vehicle while visibly impaired and was able to avoid jail time.
As law enforcement tactics continue to evolve when it comes to investigating drug crimes, drug users and chemists continue to evolve their process of staying undetected. When police criminalize one compound or ingredient in a drug, someone will find a way to get around that obstacle. With the laws and drugs changing so quickly, a person can find themselves facing drug charges in Michigan without knowing what they have done wrong.
Most of us have made a prank phone call at least once as kids. Television shows have even been made that are dedicated to prank calls. In Michigan, however, these calls are no laughing matter. Recent legislation was introduced that would make it a felony for someone to call police and falsely report a medical or other type of emergency.