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A Better Partnership
October 01, 2016

MSC to hear oral arguments on whether drunk driving in a private driveway violates criminal statute

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether drunk-driving criminal law applies in private residential driveways. In People v. Rea, No. 153908, the court directed the parties to prepare supplemental briefs for consideration of a portion of the Michigan Vehicle Code. Previously heard by the Michigan Court of Appeals, this case deals with a defendant who drove 25 feet down his driveway, while intoxicated, before stopping his car. He was arrested while walking back up his driveway, leaving the court to determine whether he had violated MCL 257.625(1). This statute prohibits drunk driving upon a “highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles.” The issue, according to the court, is “whether the location where the defendant was operating a vehicle was a place” open to the general public. The Court of Appeals previously found that the defendant’s driveway is no such place. Click here for a more detailed summary of the opinion from the Court of Appeals.

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