In Michigan, a drunk driving offense is legally referred to as OWI, however in common jargon the term is often interchanged with DUI. If you are facing a charge of OWI, you are in the company of doctors, legislators, firemen, housewives and students. The OWI law is one of the rare laws that can instantly change otherwise law abiding citizens into criminals. The Michigan laws come with strict penalties and it is in your best interest to know what you are facing. Learning the complex laws is not feasible for most people, so they turn to a legal professional for help. An experienced local Michigan OWI attorney is familiar with the local laws, knows the science behind the chemical tests, and will protect your rights in court. Because some aspects of your case require responses with time restrictions, it is imperative that you contact an experienced OWI attorney as soon as possible for a free consultation.
The legal driving limit under Michigan’s per se law is a .08 BAC (blood alcohol content). Meeting this threshold is a criminal offense and is cause for you will be arrested and taken to jail. Note that the state doesn’t address your driving ability in this law, only your BAC. You can also be charged and arrested if the peace officer determines that you are operating your vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. For this charge, you will likely be asked to perform some field sobriety tests. It is your legal right to refuse the tests and there is no punishment associated with a refusal. However, Michigan’s implied consent law assumes you give your consent to breath or chemical tests to determine your alcohol content, so refusing a breath test will cause your license to automatically be suspended for an extended period of time with no opportunity for a time reduction or a limited work driver’s license.
After an arrest, you will have a criminal court case against you. It is then that your OWI attorney will be able to cross examine witnesses and present evidence for your case. The breath machines will be checked for proper calibration, the operator will be checked to assure he or she is licensed and trained on the machine, the police interview videos of you will be viewed and possibly brought into the case. Expert witnesses can be called on your behalf – all of this to dismantle the state’s case against you. Because of the specific knowledge required to defend a drunk driving case, an experienced OWI attorney will be able to protect you best. Don’t take a chance with your future. Call right away for a free consultation with a qualified OWI attorney.
The penalties listed below are called for by statute, are not complete, and can often be removed or reduced significantly with the assistance of a local Michigan OWI attorney.
• Incarceration – up to 93 days; up to 1 year if minor under age 16 is in vehicle
• Fines – $100 to $500, with community service possible in lieu or in addition to all or part of the fine
• Fees – or OWI, a Driver Responsibility fee of $1,000 for 2 consecutive years
• License Suspension – for OWI, 30 days suspension with 150 days restricted driving to follow
• Insurance – SR22 high-risk driver insurance required before license reinstatement; must carry for 3 years
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – set by the court, required for release
• Towing – tow fee from $75 to $100 plus daily storage fee
• Insurance –your rates will increase significantly as a “high risk” driver. Expect them to double or
• Record – DUI conviction will remain on driving record permanently
• Employment – offender may lose time off work and possibly even their job.
• Immigration and travel – restrictions can apply with certain convictions
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified OWI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. It is possible that your case can be won with the right representation.