Info about Chris A. Houghtaling Attorney at Law -

Information about Chris A. Houghtaling
Attorney at Law

Personal - Professional

Chris A. Houghtaling  

Chris was born in Muskegon, Michigan. He spent a large part of his childhood in Michigan.  Chris has also lived in Virginia; Copperas Cove & Killeen,Texas; Bad Nauheim & Freiberg, Germany; and Lake Worth, Florida. Much of the travel and relocation was due to his Father's duty assignments while serving on active duty in the United States Army.  

Chris has lived continuously in West Michigan since 1979.

Chris graduated from Muskegon High School where he was a scholar/athlete.  He participated in Student Council, Theater and played Varsity Tennis. Following high school, Chris earned an Associates of Arts degree (AA) from Muskegon Community College; a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) from Grand Valley State University where he majored in economics with a history minor;  He earned a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Valparaiso University School of Law, in Valparaiso, Indiana.  

Chris attended law school as a traditional full-time student.  During law school he continued to live and work in West Michigan.  During law school he commuted from West Michigan to Valparaiso, Indiana several times a week.  During law school Chris worked for the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, supported his family, officiated and coached youth sports and remained active with First Presbyterian Church of Grand Haven.

Following law school Chris continued his employment with the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. In 1997 he joined VanderPloeg & Wells, LLP, in Whitehall, Michigan.  In 1999, Chris chose to open a law practice that focused on service and providing high quality legal representation. Chris has been a member of Houghtaling Wasiura since 1999.

Chris attended Muskegon Community College in the Fall of 2014 and completed Welding 103.  Welding has been a hobby for Chris for several years. He was introduced to welding while in high school.  Chris continues to enjoy metal working and welding. His welding experience includes stick (Shielded Metal Arc), MIG (Metal Inert Gas), TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) and use of a plasma cutter. Chris has always been committed to being a life-long learner.

Chris is certified  as a Class II Operator of the Datamaster DMT.  The Datamaster DMT is the instrument selected by the State of Michigan for use by law enforcement to administer breath tests.  Datamaster DMT is used in Michigan by law enforcement when law enforcement has determined that there is probable cause that an individual was driving and their ability to operate may be impaired from the consumption of alcohol. The Datamaster DMT training and certification are supported by the Michigan State Police (MSP) - Training Division - Alcohol Enforcement Unit.

Chris has completed two-day Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training.  ARIDE training is through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) and the Michigan State Police.  
ARIDE is designed to assist all law enforcement officers who have successfully completed the NHTSA 24-hour Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) Practitioner Course.  This course is designed to help officers become more proficient at detecting, apprehending, testing, and prosecuting impaired drivers. This is an intermediate level course designed to offer  a greater understanding of the impairing effects of drugs (Illicit and Licit), alcohol, and/or the combination of both. 

Chris attended and graduated from the two-week Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) School in 2015. A DRE is a law enforcement officer trained to identify people whose driving is impaired by drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol.  DRE training is supported by the NHTSA, OHSP and MSP.  
Police officers with DRE training often testify in court, where the term "expert" has important legal implications. The DRE program has received international acclaim for its success in identifying the drug-impaired individual. Although the focus of the DRE curricula is on the identification of the drug-impaired driver, DRE skills are applied to many different law enforcement activities. In addition, DREs are frequently called upon to differentiate between drug influence and medical and/or mental disorders. The certified DRE is a valuable tool for combating the adverse impact of drugs on the communities they serve.

Chris has also attended continuing education for DRE training.

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