The State of Michigan has some very strict laws regarding the driving under the influence and understanding these laws can help to reinforce the fact that you need to think twice before driving when you have been drinking or taking drugs. If you are pulled over with a blood alcohol concentration of .08, you will be arrested and charged with an OWI (operated while intoxicated). Minors and commercial drivers have even stricter limits. Minors can be charged with any alcohol in their blood. Another charge is the OWVI (operated while visually intoxicated) charge and this is the charge that is used when your ability to drive is visually impaired. These penalties and punishments will severely impact your freedom and your finances.
First OWI Offense
The first OWI conviction will result in your license being suspended for a period of 6 months, but you are eligible for a restricted license after a period of 1 month if you meet certain requirements. You will not face a minimum jail sentence for the first offense, but depending upon your sentence, you can be sentenced to up to ninety-three days of incarceration, depending upon the aggravating factors of your case. Fines will be a minimum of $100 up to $500 and this cost does not include the mandatory $1000 driver responsibility fee that you will be paying for the next two years or the costs of fees that are associated with your sentencing or reinstating your license.
Second OWI Offense
The second OWI conviction within seven years will result in even stricter mandates against you. You will lose your license for a period of one year and Michigan does not give restricted licenses for you to shorten your time period either. In addition, you will spend a mandatory jail sentence of anywhere from 5 days to one year, depending upon your sentence. Fines ranging from $200 to $1000, not including the driver responsibility fee and other fees that may be mandated. In addition, you will also be mandated to community service of a time period of 30 to 90 days. Mandatory DUI school may also be part of your hearing as well. This is a misdemeanor charge, unless you were involved in an accident and then it moves up to a felony charge.
Third OWI Offense
For third and subsequent OWI/DUI convictions, you will be finding severe restrictions on your life. Your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of one year and you will get six points on your license, which can affect your future driving privileges. An ignition interlock device can be mandated as well. Jail time can range from one to five years and you will be facing fines that will be $200 to $1000, plus other fees and fines that are associated with your sentencing and the reinstatement of your license. Your car will be forfeited or immobilized for a period of 90 to 180 days as well. Probation will be in your future, as well as community service, so if you choose to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Getting a lawyer is essential if you are facing an OWI or OWVI charge. You want to be sure that you have that legal representation to help to ensure that your rights are covered and that you will have the support of someone who understands the legal process. The best answer to this issue is to refrain from driving under the influence to keep your freedoms and your driving privileges. It is a choice that you have to make and this choice can make a big impact upon you now and far into the future.