- Practice Areas
- Criminal Law
Drunk Driving (OWI/DUI) Offenses
Being arrested for drunk driving can have devastating consequences for an individual's family and professional life. Conviction can result in license revocation, steep fines, cancellation of insurance, mandatory community services, and even jail or prison time, depending on circumstances.
The defense attorneys at Mika Meyers have handled hundreds of successful cases for OWI/DUI clients, leveraging our extensive experience with the judicial system, prior court opinions, relevant statutes, evidence including test data, and sentencing options.We aggressively pursue a positive result for every client, and handle each case with thoroughness and compassion.
Always remember, the best way to avoid a drunk-driving charge is to drink responsibly and plan ahead with a designated driver. If in doubt, DO NOT DRIVE.
Understanding the Charges
An experienced lawyer can quickly interpret and help you understand the various terms used by Michigan police and prosecutors to classify drunk-driving charges. Here are the basics:
- OUI/DUI (operating or driving under influence of drugs and other controlled substances)
- OWI/DWI(operating or driving while intoxicated)
- OVI (operating a vehicle while under the influence)
- UBAC/UBAL (unlawful bodily alcohol content or level) for adults and individuals under age 21
- “Super Drunk,” which provides for harsh penalties for first-time offenders with blood-alcohol levels of .17 or more
Almost all drunk-driving cases begin with a police stop. If you are stopped, you have the right to remain silent and the right to speak with a lawyer. You are required to furnish your name, address, license and insurance information, but that is all. You do not have to volunteer any additional information about the incident itself, or your involvement. The police cannot conduct a search of your car without a search warrant.
If you are arrested, a police officer will confiscate and destroy your driver's license. You will then be provided with a temporary Michigan driving permit until your case is resolved.
If you are stopped for drinking and driving by a law enforcement officer, you may be asked to take a breath test while on the road. This breath test is called a PBT or a preliminary breath test. If you refuse to take the PBT, a civil infraction ticket may be issued for refusing to take the breath test. You will be taken to a police department to take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse the requested testing at the station, your driver's license will be suspended. You have the right to refuse both the PBT and evidentiary tests administered at the police station, but it will result in a fine for the refusal of a PBT test and the automatic suspension of your license if the incident involved an evidentiary test at the station. If there is an accident where someone is injured, the police officers will procure a search warrant and mandate a blood withdrawal for laboratory testing.
By driving, you give implied consent to chemical tests if you are suspected of driving while impaired. You are considered impaired if your BAC is at least .04, but less than .08 and intoxicated if your BAC reading exceeds .08 percent. The Super Drunk category is for those with a BAC of .17 or above.
The sooner you contact a defense attorney, the better your result. Do not assume that you have the skills to respond effectively to prosecution or to navigate the judicial system.