Driving Drunk in Your Driveway?
Can you drive drunk in your own driveway? Well the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled this week that you can, or at least you cannot be prosecuted for driving drunk in your own driveway.
Mlive.com is reporting in a 2-1 ruling the Michigan Court of Appeals concurred with an Oakland County Circuit Courts decision to throw out the case against a Northville man who had been arrested for driving drunk in his driveway. They ruled he cannot be prosecuted for driving drunk in his car because he "was not operating his vehicle in an area generally accessible to motor vehicles”.
The police had been called to his home 3 times that day due to noise complaints, the third time they observed the man back out his car about 25 feet from his garage then drive it back into his garage. I guess at that point they had enough with him and arrested him for drunk driving.
Do you blame the police?
The police were up front and honest and did acknowledged in court that they never saw the vehicle pass the front end of the house.
"A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person is operating while intoxicated."
The two Appeals Court Judges that confirmed the lower court’s ruling stated:
"Had the legislature wanted to criminalize driving while intoxicated in one's own driveway, it could have outlawed the operation of a motor vehicle in any place 'accessible to motor vehicles,' omitting the adverb 'generally, the commonly understood and dictionary-driven meanings of the term 'generally' in this context compel the conclusion that the legislature meant to limit the reach."
Now this is an interesting case, because someone could get harmed in a driveway by a person driving drunk. Children play on and in between their homes and one could have been running behind the car without the driver noticing.
Let’s talk about this today on The Live with Renk Show which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts during the show please call (269) 441-9595.
Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.