In every state, it is illegal to drive when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Many states impose lower limits on commercial drivers and drivers under 21. In Michigan, an underage driver may not have a BAC over 0.00% and a commercial driver may not have one over 0.04%.
Driving with a BAC over the legal limit is grounds for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, known as an operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge in Michigan.
When you are facing an OWI charge, you are facing multiple penalties. These include:
The length of your driver’s license suspension, the size of your fine, the jail term you are facing, and whether you are required to perform community service all depend on how many times you have been convicted of OWI previously. More convictions on your record mean steeper penalties for your newest OWI.
Additionally, refusing to comply with an officer’s request for a BAC sample will result in a driver’s license suspension. Under Michigan’s implied consent law, you must always comply with this request.
You might think that a Breathalyzer result showing a BAC of 0.08% is an automatic DUI conviction, but this is not actually the case. Like any other criminal charge, you are only convicted of OWI if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. Many people do not realize that you can fight an OWI charge and instead, simply take the conviction.
There are many different strategies you and your lawyer can use to fight your OWI charge, the most effective of which depends on the specifics of your case. These defenses include:
When you are facing an OWI charge, work with an experienced OWI defense lawyer to fight the charge. To get started with a member of our team, contact Nickola Law to schedule your initial consultation in our office.
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