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Facing a First Offense DUI Michigan? This is what you can expect.

A First Offense DUI Michigan is a misdemeanor offense. A first offense DUI is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, up to $500 in fines, Michigan driver’s license suspension, and the possibility of the requirement of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Having a Michigan DUI lawyer to represent you is imperative to minimize these criminal DUI penalties. Also, the Court often orders hours of community service and alcohol counseling and treatment.

A DUI case in Michigan will usually be heard in the local district court where the offense occurred. The police or sheriff will turn over the police report to the local prosecutor to review criminal authorization charges. The court process will appear in district court for first-time DUI cases.

Some Michigan counties have sobriety courts that specialize in drunk driving cases. A sobriety court is focused on treatment. 

A plea can be structured in a DUI case to avoid possible mandatory vehicle immobilization. A skilled criminal defense lawyer with experience with a DUI case will negotiate with the prosecutors. In this process, jail can often be avoided with additional days of community service.

In Michigan, How Many Points for First DUI Offense

A first offense DUI in Michigan is a 6 point offense. If you plead guilty or are found guilty after trial, six points will be added to your master Michigan driving record. This will have a significant impact on your insurance rates. Michigan DUI lawyer can be of assistance with maintaining your driver’s license.

Maintaining your driver’s license is essential to your family and continued employment. A DUI attorney can help minimize the consequences of a DUI conviction.

DUI Case v OWI Charge in Michigan

A drunk driving offense is commonly known as a DUI. Most people understand a DUI to be a situation where a defendant was drinking and driving. This is not what Michigan Law calls a situation where one is drinking and drinking.

In Michigan, a DUI is referred to as an OWI or “Operating While Intoxicated.” A Michigan OWI conviction is a conviction for drunk driving. An operating while intoxicated OWI charge is what other states consider a drunk driving charge. An OWI conviction is drunk driving or DUI conviction.

What is a DWI in Michigan? Driving While Impaired.

Driving while impaired is driving a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. It is commonly referred to as drugged driving. Drugged driving is operating a motor vehicle, such as a car or boat, impacted by the level of drugs in your system. A DWI is often charged with other substance abuse criminal charges.

Enhanced Charges to a First Offense OWI in Michigan

A first offense DUI case can be enhanced if you have a prior conviction in drunk driving cases. A second or 2nd offense DUI in Michigan is a misdemeanor that carries enhanced penalties. A third offense felony DUI in Michigan is a felony DUI case and can result in a prison sentence. A 3rd offense OWI in Michigan felony charge is very serious. Being a repeat offender for DUI offenses and having multiple drunk driving convictions can be very costly.

There are additional enhanced charges. There is also a super drunk driving charge in cases with an excessive BAC. The super drunk law is designed to discourage an extremely high BAC alcohol level. You can also be charged with an enhanced offense for child endangerment.

You want to maintain your driving privilege in Michigan. Talk to a DUI attorney as soon as Michigan drunk driving charges occur. These enhanced DUI charges can involve driver’s license revocation, vehicle forfeiture, and mandatory jail time. A Michigan criminal defense lawyer can help navigate these issues.

Zero Tolerance for Underage Drinking in Michigan

Michigan has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. An underage drinker can have no alcohol in their body while driving. That is a bodily alcohol content of 0.00. Twenty-one is the legal drinking age in Michigan. An underage DUI can result in being taken immediately to jail. A DUI arrest frequently results from the zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking.

Michigan DUI Laws First Offense

The specific Michigan DUI Laws First offense statute is found under MCLA 257.265. The law explicitly dealing with driving under the influence states in part:

Sec. 625.

  (1) A person, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person is operating while intoxicated. As used in this section, “operating while intoxicated” means any of the following:

  (a) The person is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance or a combination of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance.

  (b) The person has an alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine or, beginning October 1, 2021, the person has an alcohol content of 0.10 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.

MCLA 257.265

The fundamental part of the Michigan DUI law is that a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or greater while driving a motor vehicle is illegal in Michigan.

Michigan follows a theory of implied consent. The implied consent law provides that you consent to a bodily alcohol or BAC test if you are driving in Michigan. If a police officer has “probable cause” to believe you are drinking, pull you over and administer a sobriety test. You are giving your implied consent to be tested for alcohol use by driving on a Michigan road.

If you fail to comply with an officer’s alcohol testing, your driver’s license will be suspended. You can lose your driver’s license for a YEAR by not cooperating in addition to other driver license sanctions. If this happens to you, consult with a Michigan attorney.   

It is important to remember that the BAC of .08 doesn’t only apply to driving a car. A motor vehicle can include boats, four-wheelers, and other motor vehicles.

A Michigan DUI First Offense Can Be a Frightening Experience to Go Through Alone

A 1st offense DUI is a very serious offense. A first-time drunk driving offense in Michigan can result in jail time and substantial fines and costs. These costs do not end with the Court either. A DUI can result in a loss of employment if you need your driver’s license to drive. It can also result in very substantial increases in your insurance premiums, if not the outright cancelation of your policy. 

A Michigan DUI first offense lawyer can help you get through this trying time. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you review the circumstances of your case.

A seasoned DUI attorney can review each step in the process to determine the best defense available. An attorney can assist you in getting a restricted license to drive for work and school. A DUI attorney can raise an appropriate drunk driving defense if you are charged with any intoxicated driving charge. 

A skilled first offense DUI Michigan attorney can defend you if you are charged with a DUI/ OWI offense. There are several common defenses to a DUI charge that your OWI attorney will want to explore. 

Probable Cause is needed to stop you

AN officer cannot just pull you over and administer a random drunk driving test. The police officer must show that he had “probable cause” to stop you when driving the roads in the state of Michigan. This usually involves unsafe driving, such as swerving or a car accident. It can also involve a “tip” that a vehicle is being driven recklessly. 

Field Sobriety Testing can be very subjective

Often when you are pulled over, you will be subjected to a series of sobriety tests in Michigan. These can include the one-leg stand, the horizontal gaze, and the dreaded reverse alphabet test. These tests are very subjective and depend on the officer’s interpretation of each test.

Proper Calibration of the Equipment Used to Determine Blood Alcohol Content

In Michigan, the police or other law enforcement will administer a breath test. Law enforcement has to maintain the equipment to document blood alcohol content properly. If they fail to do so or fail to prove that they have maintained this equipment, the results can be thrown out of your DUI case.

What About a Driving or Operating While Visibly Impaired?

A lesser charge to a first offense DUI charge is an impaired owvi driving charge. An OWVI conviction can allow a restricted driver’s license immediately. It also includes reduced points, fines, and a reduced possibility of jail. Often community service is used as a substitute for jail in these cases.

Call Today for a Free Consultation with an Experienced First Offense DUI Michigan Attorney

Bruce Law Firm has experienced DUI attorneys that can help. We offer a free consultation to review the aspects of your case. There may be flaws in the prosecutor’s case that you can take advantage of to avoid a criminal record. Our Michigan criminal defense attorneys have handled DUI cases for over 20 years.

Call today or visit our Monroe, Michigan law office. We specialize in DUI defense. Our criminal defense lawyers are ready to help you.