By on July 24, 2011

This handy pocket chart (print out and laminate), brought to you courtesy of the Freep, shows you the good and bad parts of the Detroit Metro when it comes to driving under the influence. We supply it in extra large, because- well, you know.

As you can see, in Detroit proper, the consequences of getting caught over the limit are pretty benign.

North of 8 Mile Road, matters get dicey. And the map tells only half of the story.

If you drive blottoed, you down’t want to land in the court of Judge Kimberly Small in Bloomfield Hills. Here, you are pretty sure to end up in the slammer, even for a first offense. In other areas, you must be a repeat offender to do time. And in Detroit, the stays are short, and the fines are affordable. If you are a low income drinker, Judge Marylin Atkins in Detroit will give you a discount.

See, downtown Detroit isn’t all that bad.  And some enterprising soul really should put that information into the navigation system.


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17 Comments on “Where To Drive Drunk In Detroit...”

  • avatar

    The legacy of the glory days of the auto industry, when they were running three shifts around the clock, are pretty interesting. Even in rural areas many stores are open 24 hours, and of course you can buy liquor at gas stations until 0300.

  • avatar

    My cousin is a magistrate in West Bloomfield. Her attitude is that if you’re before her on an alcohol related driving charge, you’re going to spend some time in jail, regardless. She always sets bond levels high enough to make sure that they spend at least a little time in a cell.

    What’s almost funny about this is that she and her immediate families are the definition of limousine liberals. She’s all for tolerance, except in her own domain. Then she’s the boss.

    I once said to her, “You know, you’re in a unique position. Hardly anyone else in the real world can push back when they get attitude from someone, but you can.”

    Her answer? “Damn straight I can.”

    That’s why, to paraphrase Wm F. Buckley, I’d rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the phonebook than, as we currently are, by roomfulls of lawyers.

  • avatar

    Just go a little south from there, and blow 08 or more. A $1000 or more for a fine. 1 year suspension. Then the cost of installing, and monitoring, the ignition interlock,another 2 grand.

    So, if you don’t have 3 or 4 grand you want to get rid of. Take a cab.

  • avatar

    The DUI penalties where I practice law are largely set by statute. This helps provide uniformity throughout the entire state and avoids this game of DUI roulette the residents of Michigan apparently have to go through. Also the penalties (Fines and jail time) are based on the amount of alcohol you have in your system.

  • avatar

    Western NY State is somewhat the same. Certain inner cities are quite lax both regarding enforcement and penalties. However, in select suburban and rural towns, you get frequent patrols by town cops, state police and the occasional sheriff.

    Judicial discretion (aka if you know or blow someone special you get a slap on the wrist) is similar to Michigan above.

    The latest revenue stream is ignition interlocks for whatever firm landed the contract to install these. If you’re a working stiff, expect to pay north of $1200. Of course if you’re on public assistance, it’s time BOHICA time for taxpayers (again)…

    • 0 avatar

      If you’re on public assistance you’re not driving to work, so why should you need help paying for the interlock? To maintain your social life? Ground the car for a year & take the bus for shopping, etc.

      Sorry, but unemployed drinkers are a bigger problem than the population as a whole. They have no job to show up for, nothing to lose, & lots of time on their hands.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m no fan of the dole by any means. And I hate DWI types who make excuses. I know people who’ve been hurt badly by drunks. But those on the dole (who screw up) do need to to drive (maybe to find work). Or buy groceries. In a modern society, most adults need access to a car.

        The problem (at least in NY) is that public benefits don’t get reduced if you misbehave. There’s no incentive to improve. And the interlock issue is just one more example of an expensive punishment that can brutalize a middle class wage earner’s budget but has zero effect on the poor and wealthy.

        Another example: “Counseling” for DWI.

        If you’re on public assistance or rich (or a Civil Servant with Cadillac benefits), the kick back to the Shrink LobbyMental Health Counseling requirement for a DWI conviction cost nothing.
        If you’re a private sector wage earner with a $75 copay for mental health visits, it’s BOHICA time for you. Pay up for about 10 weekly visits…

  • avatar

    Here in Ontario,we have some really tough drinking/driving laws. I get around them quite simply.

    I like to have a couple,sometimes more, than a couple of beers. I also really like a nice drive.

    I just don’t mix the two.

    Now..As far as the “hard core welfare bums” go. They could care less. No licence,insurance, E test,safety check or proper licence plates. They drive anyway.

    What are you going to do? Lock them up? Jail is thier second home.

    Just hope and pray, they don’t run into you,our yours.

    • 0 avatar

      I love visiting Canada, especially Toronto in the summer. Although it’s near NYC expensive with the green back as monopoly money against the mighty loony.

      I’m familiar with Ontario drinking laws, and don’t drive & drink. (Although, the penalty of being banned from Canada – as some of my DWI acquaintances are – would hurt more than the fines and jail). But driving is not an issue in very walkable Toronto. Nothing like staying in a downtown hotel, good food, good wine, night life, wandering the city with a nice lady and a buzz and seeing the sights on foot.

  • avatar

    I’m the last person to defend drunk driving, but the penalties have to be progressive. A former co-worker of mine got caught blowing a .08 in the fine city of Troy, MI and got the full “experience” with $6000 in fines and fees, and a few days in jail, all on his first offense. Lay the hammer down on the guy who blows .40, but somebody like this skinny guy who had two glasses of wine while having dinner with his mother was not a risk to anyone.

    • 0 avatar

      DWI law currently tosses the “second or third offender” penalty at the first offender. Politicos like DWI law because they can pass a law and look like they are ‘doing something’. Here in Westchester, NY we got an “in car” breathalyzer for first offenders…our probation dept went from 90 folks a month, mostly real criminals, to over four hundred, all dwi. There will always be a blind drunky to justify any dwi penalty, but that is not the majority of “offenders”.

    • 0 avatar

      ^^Sounds like just an unlucky stop.

      In the town I live near, a few years ago a new brew house opened up. The local cops immediately setup camp outside and pulled people over as they left for whatever offense they could use to justify the stop. The owner of the brew house asked the cops about this as it was scaring away his customers. I’m not talking about the drunks, as you said, but the guy that has a couple of beers with dinner. The cops made a deal with the owner for a discount on food they’d break camp. BTW, the brew house went out of business six months later.

  • avatar

    It is no shock to see Warren on there. They have several speedtraps….the worst one is on Van Dyke between 696 and the GM Tech Center…got a $180 ticket there. Mound is pretty bad as well near TACOM.

  • avatar

    DUI us very profitable, Detroit doesn’t seem to realize that. Considering all the other problems the Big D has maybe DUI isn’t on their radar any longer.

  • avatar

    please explain how this has _anything_ to do with the auto industry.

    bashing of the metro Detroit area with no point has no value to the discussion of the industry.

    I’m sure there are all sorts of fun crime statistics available for Georgetown KY or Smyrna or Nashville or Munich or Shanghai or Stuttgart. and they are just as immaterial to the discussion.

  • avatar

    So is the author really suggesting (wink, wink) Detroit as the place to go to drive drunk? The whole (wink, wink) thing is reprehensible. The author also ignores that the Detroit fine is a far bigger hit to the average Detroiter’s income than the Birminghan Hills fine is to the much richer average driver there. Plus, I’d rather spend 32 days in a Warren jail than 11 in a Detroit one.

    By far, the Finnish system of traffic fines is more fair, where the amount is determined as a percentage of a person’s income, not as a raw number. $1,000 to an S-class driver is pocket change, to a poor person, it’s a catastrophe.

  • avatar

    The Detroit accent itself is similar to a drunk’s. So why are you insinuating that driving drunk there could land you in trouble? Just tell them you’re a native. lolz

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