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Judge Pleads Guilty Following Improprieties in Handling Drunk Driving Cases

August 1, 2012 2 comments

Judge Pleads Guilty Following Improprieties in Handling Drunk Driving Cases

Former North Carolina Judge Kristin Ruth pleaded guilty to charges stemming from her failure to discharge her judical duties related to her handling of 60 drunk driving cases (also referred to as OWI or operating while intoxicated under Michigan law) over the past 4 years. 

The former judge had signed orders presented to her by defense counsel that were drafted in such a way so as to avoid driver’s license penalties and sanctions for individuals who were convicted of drunk driving. 

As part of her plea agreement, Ruth will not serve any jail time as a result of her misdemeanor conviction, so long as she continues to cooperate with investigators. 

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21-year-olds provided alcohol to Holt crash victims, prosecutor says | Lansing State Journal | lansingstatejournal.com

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

21-year-olds provided alcohol to Holt crash victims, prosecutor says | Lansing State Journal | lansingstatejournal.com.

If convicted, the three charged by the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.00 on each count. 

Individuals should be very aware and take great responsibility when any guest consumes alcohol at their home. This area of law is commonly referred to as “social host liability.” Statutes and court case addressing this issue vary across the U.S. In Michigan, criminal liability applies only if a minor is involved, like the case above. Similarly in Michigan, a social host is liable only if alcohol is provided to a minor. 

In order to be proactive and avoid any potential liability, individuals who host a party where alcohol is being served should: 

  • Make sure no minors are served (ask for their driver’s license).
  • If possible, host the event at a bar or restaurant so that a bartender or waitress is responsible for checking identification or overserving.
  • Provide everything except the liquor, and host a cash bar – this removes you from being accused overserving guests.
  • Discourage guests from drinking excessively.
  • Stop serving anyone who appears visibly intoxicated.