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Entrapment of A Drunk Vehicle Passenger

Clarkston Legal Sept. 26, 2013

By: Timothy P. Flynn

This would have made a great appeal had the accused not pled to a lesser charge. A district judge from Brighton accepted a plea from a woman who moved from the passenger seat to the drivers seat of her drunk boyfriend’s truck at the command of a police officer who happened upon the scene of a local restaurant.

District Judge Theresa M. Brennan ruled that it is not entrapment when a police officer requests [demands] an obviously drunken passenger to move a vehicle, then arrests her for drunk driving after she backed right into his patrol car. The woman was convicted via plea of the lesser offense of impaired driving; she allegedly had a BAC of .17, making her eligible for a “super drunk” charge.

Prior to the woman’s plea, her attorney argued for dismissal of the drunk driving charge based on an entrapment defense. Entrapment is when an otherwise law abiding citizen is induced to commit a criminal act.

The defense lawyer asserted that the woman was placed in a position of either resisting an officer or operating a vehicle with an illegal blood alcohol level; she chose to obey the officer’s command. Not taking the bait, Judge Brennan ruled that the woman made a “bad decision”, and that the Brighton police officer was just, “doing his job.”

Now that the woman has pled, her right to appeal could have been compromised depending on the procedure that played-out in the case. The now-convicted woman is scheduled to be sentenced sometime next month.