DUI and Drunk Driving Lawyers in Lansing and East Lansing

DUI and Drunk Driving Lawyers in Lansing and East Lansing2018-09-25T15:21:43+00:00

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Serving: Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties (Lansing – East Lansing – Okemos – DeWitt – St. Johns – Grand Ledge – Charlotte)

What is Drunk Driving: In 1975 when I was an Assistant Prosecutor for Ingham County, I could convict a defendant after a 3 day trial, and the sentence would be no jail, no probation, $25.00 fines and costs, and no license suspension. That is no longer the case today.  In 2009, almost 11,000 people died as a result of drunk driving accidents, i.e. 1 drunk driving death every 50 minutes.  As a result, both the legislature and the Courts treat drunk driving cases very seriously, and the laws become more severe every year.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) 1st Offense: OWI 1st is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, up to two years probation, a fine of $100.00 – $500.00, a state imposed Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 per year for two years, Community Service up to 360 hours, 6 points on driving record, 6 months suspension of driver’s license, Alcohol / Drug Assessment, appropriate substance abuse counseling, and vehicle may be immobilized up to 180 days.

Operating While Intoxicated Enhanced (Super Drunk): This new law went into effect October 31, 2010.  1st offenders who have a blood alcohol level over .17% may be charged with OWI Enhanced, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, up to two years probation, a fine of $200 ‑ $700, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 per year for two years, Community Service up to 360 hours, 6 points on driving record, 1 year suspension of driver’s license, an Alcohol / Drug Assessment, and appropriate substance abuse counseling.

Operating While Intoxicated 2nd Offense: If you have a prior OWI or Impaired  Driving conviction within 7 years, you may be charged with OWI 2nd, which is a misdemeanor punishable by not less than 5 days and not more than 1 year in jail, up to two years probation, a fine of $200.00 – $1,000.00, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 per year for two years, Community Service of 30 days – 90 days, 6 points on driving record, 1 years suspension of driver’s license, an Alcohol / Drug Assessment, appropriate substance abuse counseling, and mandatory vehicle immobilization 24-180 days or possible vehicle forfeiture.

Operating While Intoxicate 3rd Offense: If you have two prior OWI or Impaired convictions in your lifetime, you may be charged with OWI 3rd, which is a felony punishable by either (a) not less than 1 years and not more than 5 years in prison, or (b) not less than 30 days and not more than 1 year in jail and community service for not less than 60 days and nor more than 180 days, up to 5 years probation, a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than $5,000.00, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 per year for two years, 6 points on driving record, 5 year revocation of driver’s license, appropriate substance abuse counseling, and mandatory vehicle immobilization of 6 months – 3 years or possible vehicle forfeiture.

Impaired Driving 1st Offense (Impaired): Impaired 1st is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, up to two years probation, a fine of up to $300.00, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $500.00 per year for two years, Community Service up to 360 hours, 4 points on driving record, 90 days suspension of driver’s license, an Alcohol / Drug Assessment, appropriate substance abuse counseling, and vehicle may be immobilized up to 180 days.

Impaired Driving 2nd Offense: If you have a conviction of Impaired within 7 years, then you may be charged with Impaired 2nd, which  is a misdemeanor punishable by not less than 5 days and not more than 1 year in jail, up to two years probation, a fine of $200.00 – $1,000.00, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $500.00 per year for two years Community Service of 30 days – 90 days, 4 points on driving record, 1 year suspension of driver’s license, an Alcohol / Drug Assessment, appropriate substance abuse  counseling, and mandatory vehicle immobilization 24-180 days or possible vehicle forfeiture.

Impaired Driving 3rd Offense: If you have two prior convictions of Impaired Driving in your lifetime, then you may be charged with Impaired 3rd, which is a felony punishable by either (a) not less than 1 years and not more than 5 years in prison or (b) not less than 30 days and not more than 1 year in jail and community service for not less than 60 days and not more than 180 days, up to 5 years probation, a fine of not less than $500.00 and not more than $5,000.00, a state imposed Driver’s Responsibility Fee of $500.00 per year for two years 6 points on driving record, 5 years revocation of driver’s license, appropriate substance abuse counseling, and mandatory vehicle immobilization 6 months – 3 years or possible vehicle forfeiture.

Alcohol Interlock Device: In addition to the penalties listed above, in some cases the Court has the authority to place an alcohol interlock device on the driver’s vehicle, which will not allow the vehicle to start unless the driver’s blood alcohol level is .00%.

Refusal to take a Breath Test: A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is a breath test offered by the police officer at the arrest site.  Refusal to take a PBT results in a civil infraction punishable by a fine.   Refusal to take the breath test at the police station will result in 6 points on the driving record and a 1 year driver’s license suspension.  Additionally, if a driver refuses to take the breath test at the police station, the police officer will obtain a search warrant, take the driver to the hospital, and obtain a blood sample, which will be analyzed by the State Police to determine the blood alcohol level.

How we handle Drunk Driving Cases in Lansing: After getting all of the information from our client and the police reports, we evaluate the case to determine whether there is a basis to have the case dismissed.  If not, then we evaluate the case to determine whether we can go to trial with some reasonable chance of success.  If not, we seek a plea agreement and sentence agreement, which would result in a conviction of a less serious offense and result in less serious penalties.

We often request clients to participate in certain programs.  This is done for two reasons.  First, we want to determine if our client has a substance abuse problem, and, if so, have our client address that problem.  Second, we want to posture our client as best we can by being proactive in addressing any real or potential substance abuse issues in order to, if necessary, obtain the best possible plea agreement and to minimize the sentence.

Our focus with DUI Cases in Lansing is always to avoid a conviction, if possible.  If that is not possible, then to seek a conviction of the least serious offense while minimizing our client’s sentence, and to avoid a driver’s license suspension or to obtain a restricted license.

If you are charged with drunk driving, it is essential that you retain a competent and experienced OWI attorney in Lansing.

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Call now to speak to a legal professional (517) 487-6603

or click here to contact Stuart R. Shafer.


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