First Offense DUI / OWI in Michigan

The law in Michigan is tough on drunk drivers.

Even for those facing a first offense DUI / OWI, anyone charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), should consider the serious consequences that can result from a first offense DUI conviction.

Incarceration, thousands of dollars in fines and costs, extended probation with mandatory alcohol and drug testing, suspended or restricted driving privileges and sky rocketing insurance rates are only some of the realities those charged with first offense DUI face following conviction. But the good news is that all drunk and drugged driving cases are defendable.

And many are winnable.

The key to success is seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced, well qualified Michigan DUI defense lawyer.

WHAT IS A FIRST OFFENSE DUI DRUNK DRIVING?

Like all states, Michigan has established legal limits for consuming alcohol and operating a motor vehicle. For drivers over the age of 21, the bodily alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08. This means that a driver who is found to be operating with a BAC of .08 or higher may be charged with drunk driving.

In the case of a driver whose  BAC is found to be .17 or higher, the prosecutor may elect to charge under the state’s Super Drunk Law which may result in even more punitive consequences.

Underage drivers are subject to the state’s Zero Tolerance Law that makes it a crime to operate a vehicle with a BAC above .02 by anyone under the age of 21.

HOW DOES AN OFFICER DETERMINE IF YOU’RE ABOVE THE LEGAL LIMIT?

If you are stopped for suspected drunk or drugged driving, the law enforcement officer will most likely ask you to submit to field sobriety tests.  Based upon your performance of these tests, an officer may ask you to submit to a roadside PBT to determine your BAC.

A driver’s BAC is, in most instances, determined through a breath or blood test. The relevant statute also permits a chemical test of a suspected OWI driver’s urine, but that test is rarely administered.

It is important to keep in mind that even in the absence of a valid breath, blood or urine test, a suspected OWI driver can be charged, prosecuted and convicted. In those cases, it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that due to the consumption of alcohol, the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened.

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WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR A FIRST OFFENSE DUI DRUNK DRIVING?

A Michigan first offense DUI is a 93 day misdemeanor. This means that upon conviction, a first offender could be sentenced to serve up to 93 days in jail. It is important to realize that some judges routinely incarcerate on a first offense DUI / OWI conviction.

In addition, a convicted first offender may be required to pay up to $500 in fines, perform 360 hours of community service, and complete a court-approved alcohol and drug education program.

In reality, the total cost upon conviction is much higher due to other court and statutorily imposed costs and fees.  These fees include crime victim impact fees, costs of prosecution and probation oversight fees.

In addition to fines and costs, conviction of an OWI first offense may include a 30-day suspension of your driving privileges and 150 days of restricted driving.

In the event the conviction is for a Super Drunk first offense, the potential sentence could include up to 180 days in jail, a one-year suspension of your license and mandatory installation of a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).

WHAT IF A FIRST OFFENSE DUI DRUNK DRIVING INVOLVES AN ACCIDENT?

In the unfortunate event that a first offense DUI driver is involved in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury or death, the consequences could be catastrophic. In that case,  the driver would potentially face a felony charge punishable by up to 15 years in prison as well as significant fines and costs.

CAN A FIRST OFFENSE DUI BE REMOVED FROM MY CRIMINAL RECORD IN THE FUTURE?

It is important to remember that Michigan law does not allow for the expungement of any drunk or drugged driving conviction. A person convicted of first offense DUI will have the conviction on his or her record for life. In practical terms that means that a person convicted of first offense DUI will always have to answer “yes” on any employment application that asks: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?”

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michigan DUI Court Process
 
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Drunk Driving DUI OWI Fines Fees Court Costs

HIRE AN EXPERIENCED LAWYER TO DEFEND
YOUR FIRST OFFENSE DUI CASE

Being charged and convicted of a Michigan first offense DUI can be a life changing event.

If you find yourself faced with that reality, you would be well advised to seek the counsel of an experienced, qualified and time-tested Michigan first offense DUI defense attorney who has a proven track record of winning difficult drunk and drugged driving cases.

I am proud of my reputation as one of the best drunk driving defense attorneys in Michigan. For over 36 years I have successfully represented clients charged with serious alcohol and drug related driving offenses. My philosophy, that every case is defendable, has resulted in hundreds of successful outcomes for grateful and appreciative clients.  Remember, your arrest doesn’t have to result in a conviction.

Click Here to Contact Edward Earl Duke

Our Location

180 High Oak Road, Suite 205

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

(248) 409-0484

Summary
First Offense DUI Drunk Driving
Article Name
First Offense DUI Drunk Driving
Description
First Offense DUI Drunk Driving is a serious charge. There are defenses to a drunk driving charge and a conviction may be avoided by hiring an experienced OWI lawyer.
Author
Duke Law Group