MI Super Drunk Driving Law
(OWI HIGH BAC)
The new super drunk driving law, also known as "OWI with a High BAC" is now in effect in Michigan. As of October 31, 2010, if you are convicted under this new law, you can face very severe penalties from the Court but more so from the Michigan Secretary of State. This new drunk driving law increases jail time for up to 180 days, fines, driving suspensions/restrictions with interlock control device on your car, intensive probation and alcohol treatment as well as other penalties.
The Prosecution can charge you under the new super drunk law (aka OWI High BAC) if your blood alcohol content was at or above .17.
Penalties under the new drunk driving law:
- Up to 180 days in jail;
- Fines up to $700 (Plus Driver Responsibility Fees and Court/Probation costs);
- No driving for 45 days and thereafter Restricted Driving for 321 days;
- Interlock Ignition Device placed in your vehicle (at your expense);
- Mandatory alcohol treatment program for a minimum of 1 year.
Similarly, if your BAC was less than .17 and it is your first drunk driving offense, then the new super drunk law will not apply to your case but you are still subject to the existing OWI laws.
If you were arrested for an OWI/DUI with a High BAC (under the Super Drunk Law) in the Southeast Michigan area, you ought to hire the best DUI attorney you can afford right away. Contact our experienced and knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney at (248) 782-8322 or fill out our quick Contact Form Here.
- Q: What is the difference between a DUI and OWI?
- A: In Michigan, the typical charge for drunk driving is called an "OWI (operating while intoxicated). However, many people refer to a drunk driving arrest as a “DUI” (Driving Under the Influence). In Michigan, it used to be called a DUI until several years ago when the Michigan law changed to OWI. For simplicity and ease of understanding the drunk driving laws, we refer to it as a "DUI".
- Q: Michigan Police arrested me for an DUI/OWI, what is the first thing that I should do?
- It's absolutely critical to start building an aggressive defense to your Michigan DUI arrest by gathering evidence. This evidence is not easy to gather and if you or your lawyer are not familiar with defending a DUI case in the Metro Detroit Area, this evidence may not be available within a very short amount of time after your arrest if not timely requested. A DUI is no longer a simple charge. In fact it is just the opposite. The laws for drunk driving arrests are getting harsher and severe in many ways than one. In some Courts, you can go to jail on a first OWI conviction. Therefore, you should always hire the best DUI lawyer in Michigan you can afford.
- Q: Do I need a lawyer to fight my Michigan OWI arrest case?
- A: While you don’t need a lawyer, a good MI DUI Lawyer with knowledge of the DUI Laws in Michigan would certainly give you the strategic legal edge you need. A good DUI Defense Attorney in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb County may be able to obtain a lesser charge or sentence for you if your situation allows for it. Additionally, if you're a repeat offender, or one whose livelihood depends on keeping their driver's license and even a professional license (pharmacist, physician/doctor, attorney, nurse, etc), should retain the best Michigan DUI lawyer right away. Fortunately, a drunk driving charge does not necessarily mean a conviction and good legal representation will help you get a DUI charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge/sentence to preserve your driving privileges and professional license.
- Q: Am I automatically guilty just because the police said that I was drunk?
- No! Contrary to what most people think, before you can be convicted of an OWI, the prosecution must prove you guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It is not your initial responsibility to prove your innocence but it is your responsibility to gather the evidence of your sobriety. This is why you should evaluate your case and the evidence against you.
- Q: Can you get an OWI charge dismissed in Michigan?
- A: In most cases, an OWI can be dismissed through a plea bargain or court intervention. A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the government where your current charges are dropped in exchange for a plea for a lower, less severe charge, such as Operating While Visibily Impaired (OWVI). To get the best possible plea offer, your DUI lawyer should begin to gather evidence in advance of plea negotiations to show weaknesses in the government's case such as, police mistakes, violations of administrative rules or violation of your constitutional rights. Court can also dismiss a DUI charge if your constitutional rights were violated such as an invalid stop, illegal search, lack of probable cause to arrest and the like.
- Q: The Michigan police officer who arrested me for an OWI had no reason to pull me over in the first place. Is there anything that I can do about it?
- A: Yes, there is something that can be done. A law enforcement officer can’t just pull you over for no reason. Why? Because that violates your constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures under the 4th Amendment of the Michigan and U.S. Constitution. Your DUI Defense Attorney can bring a Motion to Suppress the evidence based on an illegal traffic stop or lack of probable cause to arrest you.
- Q: Is there any way that I could be arrested if I had a BAC of less than .08?
- A: Yes. You can be prosecuted for a Michigan OWVI if the Prosecutor proved that you were less than a safe driver due to impairment by alcohol or drugs – based on the law enforcement officer’s observations. His or her opinion will have more weight if field sobriety tests, the smell of alcohol, blood shot, watery eyes, loss of coordination, and general attitude are disclosed.If your BAC results came back at .08 or lower, you have a good chance of getting the drunk driving charge of OWI dismissed altogether or reduced to a non-alcohol related crime or even a civil infraction.
- Q: Will I go to jail if convicted on a first OWI offense?
- A: Usually you will not go to jail on a first OWI conviction but there is always that possibility and many factors to consider. For example, prior criminal convictions and high BAC results can increase your chances to getting jail time for a first OWI conviction. Each Michigan Judge has her/his own views and policies. For those cases that are not tried or dismissed, an experienced DUI Defense Attorney can often negotiate with the Prosecutor and/or Judge for alternative penalties associated with drunk driving which sometimes include an agreement to no jail.
- Q: If I am arrested for an OWI, what happens to my driver’s license?
- A: Upon arrest, your MI picture license will be taken away and you will be given a Temporary Driving Permit, usually 8x11 white sheet of paper. On the very top it will say either DI-177 or DI-93. You will need this to be able to drive as usual while your case or OWI charge is pending. It is usually a good idea to visit to your local Secretary of State Office and request a Michigan State ID for identification purposes soon after your release from jail. The cost is minimal (around $10) and some Michigan SOS Super Centers can issue you the ID on the spot. Use google to search for the nearest MI SOS office.
- Q: Can you get cited for OWI in a Boat?
- A: Yes. Just like cars, trucks or RV’s, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs has serious consequences.
- Q: What makes your law firm different from other DUI attorneys?
- A: Our clients will most likely tell you that both our professionalism, customer service and aggressive defense strategies set us apart from the rest. We answer our phones and meet with our clients and conduct a thorough independent investigation of their case. This is critical because many attorneys who claim they know DUI laws, miss this step and can strengthen the Prosecutor’s case. We look for evidence to prove that the police officer was mistaken and failed to follow proper procedures, or that the tests were flawed. Once we begin our investigation, we often go to the scene and take pictures to show evidence of unfair road conditions, and may even look into medical records that would show a condition making you unable to perform field sobriety tests no matter what condition or time of day.
- Q: How much will you charge to represent me (DUI lawyer fees)?
- A: The first step is our Case Evaluation. We will not charge for this consultation, so it makes good sense to call us and explore your options.Once we have a clear understanding of your case and personal circumstances, we will tell you in advance of our attorney fees and the work we will undertake if we accept your case. DUI Attorney Fees vary depending on a number of factors, such as, the facts of your case, your past criminal record, breath alcohol content level (BAC), etc. Our fees are almost always on a fixed-fee basis because charging an hourly rate does not work well and fixed fee arrangements is the standard fee arrangement in the criminal/DUI practice among the majority of DUI lawyers in Michigan. We take our cases seriously, and must restrict the number of cases we take so that each case gets the time and attention that it deserves. You always know our fees up-front. Plus, if you don’t want to go all the way to trial, you don’t have to pay for trial.
- Q: I was arrested for an OWI but did not get a ticket nor have I been charged. What to do?
- A: Police investigate a crime and prepare a written report. The report is then forwarded to the State or City/Township Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor or City Attorney are the ones who decide whether to file criminal charges and what criminal charges will be filed. The investigation process could take time, or could occur very quickly. It is important to know to not to talk without the presence of a good DUI / criminal defense lawyer because it can come back to haunt you. Police are trained to elicit information from those investigated for a crime. It is human nature to want to explain your position. Doing so without first talking to an experienced DUI Attorney / Criminal Defense Attorney can have everlasting effect whether you will be charged or not, and in some cases, additional information may be elicited by you that can lead to additional charges filed against you. Therefore, it is essential to be able to fight your case before charges are filed.
30300 NORTHWESTERN HWY
FARMINGTON HILLS, MI 48334
(Between 12 & 13 Mile Rd)
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