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Drunk Driving: Punishment and Treatment

Drunk Driving is a serious problem. Michigan judges and law enforcement officials are encouraging drivers not to drink and drive and to use a designated driver this Labor Day weekend through the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. But due to the recent addiction epidemic that is engulfing communities nation-wide, one Macomb County district judge has also introduced a program designed to help those suffering from addiction.

As reported in the Detroit Free Press, 41B District Court Judge Linda Davis from Clinton Township recently discussed the program called Hope Not Handcuffs. The program is designed to identify addicts before they find themselves in court and divert them into treatment. Specifically, the program allows addicts to turn themselves and their drugs, paraphernalia, and alcohol in to authorities without facing arrest so that they can start receiving help.

If the program is a success in Macomb County, Judge Davis hopes it can be adopted throughout Michigan. Michigan is seeing a spike in opioid and heroin deaths in recent years, particularly in the Metro Detroit area. And this is proving to be a nationwide problem.

Though Michigan law enforcement agencies still plan on writing tickets and making arrests for drunk driving, there is an understanding that tackling the deeper problem means having a broader and more compassionate approach. The main goal is to end the unnecessary suffering and death of addicts, their victims, and the families and loved ones of both.

Many times, persons with drug and/or alcohol abuse problems find themselves facing criminal charges that include Use of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Narcotics, or Driving While Intoxicated. For some of these people, the court process - and the random testing, alcohol/drug education, 12-step meetings, driver's license sanctions, interlock devices, sobriety courts, and jail sentences - can be the first time a person is forced to confront years of alcohol and drug abuse. Obtaining experienced help early in the court process is vital to a successfully navigating the mine field of possible penalties. Do not delay in hiring an experienced Michigan drunk driving and narcotics criminal defense attorney.

At the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC, we understand that many cases need to proceed to trial, and not every client is an addict. However, for those who may be addicted, and want to use their legal situation to constructively address what may be a long-standing drug or alcohol abuse problem, our office will ensure a defense strategy that takes into consideration each client's unique circumstances, background, goals, and possible history of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Contact the Law Office of John Freeman, PLLC today.

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