Michigan Supreme Court, Decided May 31, 2012

In this Washtenaw County case, while Feezel was driving he encountered an intoxicated pedestrian in the middle of the street. Feeszel collided with the pedestrian whom died as a result of the accident. Feezel’s blood was analyzed which contained 6 nanograms of a THC metabolite called 11 Carboxy THC. Feezel was charged with OWI causing death and operating with the presence of a schedule one controlled substance. The trial judge refused to admit the evidence that the victim was extremely intoxicated. Feezel was convicted and appealed.

Michigan law prohibits a person from driving with any amount of a schedule one controlled substance in their body. THC is a schedule one controlled substance. The question was whether the THC metabolite was a derivative of THC thus making it a schedule one. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that it was not. In order to be convicted of Operating with the presence of drugs it must be active THC and not a metabolite. The court also ruled that the victim’s intoxication was material and should have been admitted into evidence.