Thursday, December 17, 2009

Troy Amends Local Ordinance for MIP's

On November 23, 2009, the Troy City Council amended the city's local ordinance, rescinding that portion authorizing police to issue tickets to underage drinkers who refuse to submit to a preliminary breath test. See, "Troy Changes Procedures on Underage Arrests." The amendment was in response to the Michigan Court of Appeals decision in People v Choudhury, a Troy student who was ticketed for being a minor in possession after submitting to a required PBT. Troy District Court Judge William Bolle had suppressed the evidence gained as the result of the PBT finding that the search of Chowdhury's person was accomplished without the benefit of search warrant or a recognized exception to the warrant requirement. The City appealed and, in a written opinion the COA called "succinct but complete," Judge Rae Lee Chabot affirmed. Judges Cynthia Diane Stephens, Kathleen Jansen and Kurtis Wilder rejected the City's contention that a warrant was not required because a "special need" existed, i.e., a compelling state interest in protecting young people from the dangers of alcohol abuse and in protecting the general public from the potential consequences of alcohol abuse by young persons.

The amendment also changed the wording of the ordinance, authorizing police to "request" a minor submit to a PBT as opposed to "requiring" compliance.

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