People vs. Hines
(Drunk Driving Causing Death) 6th Circuit Court Pontiac
Mr. Hines was charged with Drunk Driving Causing Death, a fifteen year felony. I got the charges reduced to a Misdemeanor and Mark was sentenced to four months in jail, followed by four years of probation.
On a snowy afternoon Mark hit a patch of black ice on a country road in Clarkston. His car spun out and collided with an oncoming car. Mark was only going twenty miles an hour. The passenger in the oncoming car sustained bruised ribs. She was taken to the hospital for observation. Due to her lack of movement she developed a blood clot in her leg which broke free. Two weeks later she died from a pulmonary embolism. She was eighty years old. Mark was given field sobriety tests which he performed well on but his blood alcohol level was .16. He was charged with Drunk Driving Causing Death, a fifteen year felony.
Mark is forty six years old. He lives in an adult foster care facility because he is bipolar and manic depressed. At the time of the accident he was drinking two fifths a day. In order to prove Mark guilty the prosecutor needed to show that Mark’s intoxicated driving was a cause of the accident.
Mark had just bought the car that day, a 1986 Daytona with 167,000 miles on it. I argued to the prosecutor that it would be impossible for him to prove his case because in spite of Mark’s blood alcohol level he was not affected and that the accident would have happened even if he had nothing to drink.
Fortunately this prosecutor was willing to listen. He reduced the charge to the Misdemeanor of Negligent Homicide. Mark was sentenced to four months in jail and four years of probation with alcohol counseling.
ines was charged with Drunk Driving Causing Death, a fifteen year felony. I got the charges reduced to a Misdemeanor and Mark was sentenced to four months in jail, followed by four years of probation.