Michigan Drunk Driving / DUI / OWI / OWVI Attorney

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iStock 000023940779Small 300x300 Michigan Drunk Driving / DUI / OWI / OWVI Attorney What is a DUI/OWI?

Though many people still refer to it as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), in Michigan there is no such crime. In Michigan’s there is only “operating while intoxicated (OWI),” and “Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI).” Operating while Intoxicated (OWI), means you drove a motor vehicle (this includes watercrafts) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) .08 or above.

The standard measure of the “impaired” driver across the United States is .08. It should also be noted, that Michigan has lower BAC limits for drivers under the age of 21 and commercial drivers, which are .04 (for drivers w/ a CDL) and .02 (for minors) respectively. All the aforementioned charges can and will result in driver’s license actions by the Secretary of State, and are explained in greater detail below. If you have been charged, the officer will destroy your driver’s license, and you will be issued a 625g paper permit on which to drive until your case is resolved in court.

Have you been arrested on suspicion of a DUI/OWI? We know the law and can help you understand your rights and develop defenses to charges levied against you, as the very first DUI/OWI we ever handled resulted in a dismissal. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

What is Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)?

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) means that because of alcohol or other drugs in your body, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired. A person who is “Operating While Visibly Impaired” would have a bodily alcohol content of more than .02, but less than .08

Have you been arrested on suspicion of a OWVI? Need a Michigan Drunk Driving / DUI / OWI / OWVI Attorney? We know the law and can help you understand your rights and develop defenses to charges levied against you, To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

What is Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine?

Operating with any presence of a schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine means you drove a motor vehicle (this includes watercrafts) having even a small trace of these drugs in your body even though you may not appear to be intoxicated or impaired. Schedule I drugs have a high tendency for abuse and have no accepted medical use. This schedule includes drugs such as Marijuana, Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, and GHB. Recent activists have tried to change the schedule for Marijuana citing the possible medical benefits of the drug, however Marijuana remains a Schedule I Drug. Pharmacies do not sell Schedule I drugs, and they are not available with a prescription by physician. Your use can be determined by a chemical test.

Have you been arrested on suspicion of a Operating with the Presence of a schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine? The State of Michigan has strict laws for drunk driving, let us help protect your freedom, finances, and your future. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Preliminary Breath Test / PBT Refusal:

If you are stopped for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the stopping officer may ask you to take several sobriety tests, including a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol. If you refuse to take the PBT, a civil infraction ticket may be issued for refusing to take the breath test and fined up to $150 plus court costs. Persons under age 21 who refuse to take the PBT will receive two points on their driver record.

Have you been ticketed for refusal to take the PBT, for questions and to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Michigan’s Implied Consent Law

If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated, you will be required to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC). Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, you are considered to have given your consent to this test. If you refuse any test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license will be suspended for one (1) year. You need to be aware that the suspension of your license is automatic for any refusal to submit to the test. Again, we cannot stress enough that your license may automatically be suspended for a year unless you take action within 14 days of your arrest by requesting an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. This is a separate consequence from any subsequent charges resulting from the stop. If you are arrested a second time in seven years and again refuse the test, six points will be added to your driver record and your license will be suspended for two years this time around.

So you made a mistake by failing to submit a chemical test, do not make a second mistake, act now, let us help you save your license. For questions and to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The potential Sentencing/Punishment for the aforementioned crimes is listed below.

First Offense:

  • OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)
    • $100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
      • Up to 93 days in jail.
      • Up to 360 hours of community service.
    • Driver license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
      Possible vehicle immobilization.
    • Possible ignition interlock.
    • Six points added to driver record.
    • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years for OWI.
  • OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
    • Up to $300 fine and one or more of the following:
      • Up to 93 days in jail.
      • Up to 360 hours of community service.
    • Driver’s license restriction for 90 days (180 days if impaired by controlled substance).
    • Possible vehicle immobilization.
    • Four points on driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
  • Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)
    • $100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
      • Up to 93 days in jail.
      • Up to 360 hours of community service.
    • Driver’s license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
    • Possible vehicle immobilization.
    • Possible ignition interlock.
    • Six points added to driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years for OWPD

Any combination, second offense within seven years:

  • OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
    • $200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
      • Five days to one year in jail.
      • 30 to 90 days community service.
    • Driver’s license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
    • License plate confiscated.
    • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Six points on driver record.
    • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
  • OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
    • $200 to $1,000 fine and one or more of the following:
      • Five days to one year in jail.
      • 30 to 90 days community service.
    • Driver’s license denial/revocation for a minimum one year.
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Four points on driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Any combination, third offense within lifetime (felony):

  • OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
    • $500 to $5,000 fine and either:
      • One to five years imprisonment.
      • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
    • 60 to 180 days community service.
    • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum five years.
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Registration denial.
    • Six points on driver record.
    • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.
  • OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired)
    • $500 to $5,000 fine and either:
      • One to five years in prison.
      • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
    • 60 to 180 days community service.
    • Driver’s license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization one to three years unless forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • Registration denial.
    • Four points on driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee

First offense

  • OWI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony)
    • Death-Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
    • Injury-Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
    • Emergency Responder Death-Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both
    • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of one year.
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization up to 180 days unless forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Second offense (any prior crime within seven years):

  • OWI/OWVI/OWPD/DWLS causing death/serious injury (felony)
    • Death-Up to 15 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
    • Injury-Up to five years imprisonment OR $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.
    • Emergency Responder Death-Up to 20 years imprisonment OR $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
    • Driver license denial/revocation for a minimum of five years.
    • License plate confiscation.
    • Vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
    • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
    • $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle

  • Up to a $100 fine.
  • First offense- no action is taken against driver’s license.
  • Second offense- driver’s license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense- driver’s license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.
  • Two points on driver’s record.

Actions for Drivers Under Age 21:

  • First Offense
    • Up to $250 fine and/or
    • Up to 360 hours of community service.
    • Driver license is restricted for 30 days.
    • Four points on driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 consecutive years.
  • Second Offense within seven years:
    • Up to $500 fine and/or
    • Up to 60 days community service.
    • Up to 93 days in jail.
    • Driver license suspension 90 days. Any prior drunk driving conviction results in a minimum one-year driver license revocation.
    • Four points on driver record.
    • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Person Under 21 purchase/consume/possess alcohol:

  • First offense- $100 fine, no action is taken against driver’s license.
  • Second offense- $200 fine, driver’s license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense- $500 fine, driver’s license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
  • Community service may be required.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.

Person Under 21 transport or possess in a motor vehicle:

  • Up to a $100 fine.
  • First offense- no action is taken against driver license.
  • Second offense- driver’s license is suspended for 30 days/restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense- driver’s license is suspended for 60 days/restricted for 305 days.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.
  • Community service may be required.
  • Two points on driver record.
  • Vehicle can be impounded up to 30 days.

Use Fraudulent ID to Purchase Liquor

  • Up to a $100 fine, 93 days in jail, or both.
  • 90-day driver license suspension.
  • Alcohol screening may be required.

DWLS (Driving While License Suspended)

  • Up to $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

DWLS (second offense)

  • Up to $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • Vehicle may be immobilized for up to 180 days.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee

DWLS (third offense- must have two priors within seven years- misdemeanor)

  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • License plate confiscated.
  • Vehicle immobilized 90 to 180 days.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

DWLS (fourth offense- must have three priors within seven years- misdemeanor)

  • Same as for third offense.

DWLS (fifth offense- must have four priors within seven years- misdemeanor)

  • Mandatory additional suspension.
  • License plate confiscated.
  • Vehicle immobilized one to three years.
  • $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years.

Why hire us?

Having handled these cases in volume, typically our attorneys know the prosecutor and the judge, and can anticipate the judge’s responses, understand how the prosecutor will want to proceed, and with that knowledge can negotiate the best deal for our clients in efforts of removing as much uncertainty from the legal justice system as possible.

Remember, judges have a tremendous amount of discretion when imposing your punishment. Without us, or another competent attorney, you may say or do the wrong thing, increasing your punishment. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were arrested is particularly helpful. That said, we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair. For more information about Domestic Violence, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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