Memorial Day weekend is a time we spend remembering those who sacrificed their lives and lost them in active military service. While this holiday will always be a time to pay tribute to those who didn’t survive while defending their country, it has also become a time for many to get away for the weekend or simply unwind and enjoy the extra time they are given off from work. For many, Memorial Day weekend has become an opportunity to let loose and relax and even consume a drink or two.
While there is nothing wrong with having a few drinks when you have reached the legal age to do so, there is when it is not done in a responsible manner.
Now, however you intend on spending your Memorial Day weekend, we are here to share with you a few facts that serve as a reminder of why you should never drive drunk or drugged.
- Drinking and driving can heighten your chances of engaging in a drunk driving accident.
When you choose to get behind the wheel of your vehicle drunk or drugged, not only it is illegal, but you are also putting yourself at risk of engaging in an accident. Did you know that Memorial Day has been identified by Value Penguin as one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road? According to the National Safety Council, during the 2016 Memorial Day period, 36% of fatalities involved an alcohol-impaired driver. Rather be safe than sorry, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and never allow a friend or family member to do so either.
- Drinking while driving can lead to an arrest and tainted record.
When a holiday weekend approaches, whether it is Memorial Day weekend or Thanksgiving, law enforcement agencies always increase the number of officers they have out on the roads patrolling. The fact is, these agencies are aware that individuals tend to celebrate the holidays by consuming alcohol and are more likely to get behind the wheel of their vehicle intoxicated. With more police out and looking for drunk and drugged drivers, you risk being pulled over or stopped at a DUI checkpoint and being arrested in the event you show signs of impairment.
If you are unaware of how the State of Michigan penalizes DUI offenders, here’s a brief overview of the different types of charges you could be faced along with the penalties they carry if you are stopped and presumed guilty of driving drunk or drugged in Lansing.
What are the consequences for a first-time DUI offender in Michigan?
When charged and convicted of Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), you will likely be faced with:
- A fine of $300 or less, and one or more of the following:
- Having to spend up to 93 days in jail.
- Having to complete up to 360 hours of community service.
- Your driving privileges will be restricted for 90 days, or 180 days if you are guilty of being impaired by a controlled substance.
- Having your vehicle immobilized.
- Having four points added to your driving record.
When charged and convicted with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating With any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD), the penalties you will likely be faced with include:
- $100 to $500 fine and one or more of the following:
- Up to 93 days in jail.
- Up to 360 hours of community service.
- Your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, followed by a license restriction period of 150 days.
- Potentially having your vehicle immobilized.
- You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
- You will have six points added to your driving record.
If you are caught operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .17 or higher, you shall be charged with High Blood Alcohol Content and the consequences are as follows when convicted of the crime.
- One or more of the following:
- Up to 180 days in jail.
- A $200 to $700 fine.
- Up to 360 hours of community service.
- Having your driver’s license suspended for one year. You may be eligible for restrictions after 45 days of suspension given you have an ignition interlock device is installed on all your vehicles.
- Your license plate may be confiscated if you fail to properly install an ignition interlock device.
- Your vehicle shall be immobilized if you are also convicted of operating a vehicle without properly installing an ignition interlock device inside of it.
- Having six points added to your driving record.
What are some common types of behavior police look for to determine if a driver has been drinking or using drugs?
Police may use these red flags and others to identify when a driver may be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol:
- They weave within their lane.
- They wander from one lane to another.
- They run off the paved portion of the road.
- They stop too abruptly or stop very slowly.
- They drive too fast or too slow.
- They fail to obey stop signs or other traffic signals.
- They drive on the wrong side of the road.
What should I do if I have been accused of driving drunk or drugged in Lansing, MI?
If you were arrested and charged with operating a vehicle drugged or drunk in Lansing, MI the first thing you are going to want to do is contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. to speak with MI defense attorney Stuart R. Shafer. If you are looking to increase your chances of getting your charges reduced and avoid being hit with the maximum penalties, you are going to want to be represented by a criminal defense attorney with experience.
To schedule a time to discuss your recent arrest with attorney Stuart R. Shafer, contact us now at 517-487-6603.
You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C.at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906