There are many things that affect how a drunk driver is charged in the state of Michigan. Every DUI case varies because of this very reason. To help you better understand what might affect how you are charged, we are going to break down a few different infractions of the law and how each might intensify the penalties you face in the event you were pulled over for driving while intoxicated.

It is important that anyone currently facing a DUI/OWI in Lansing, East Lansing, Charlotte, Grand Ledge, St. Johns, Okemos, or Dewitt enlist the legal aid we can offer here at the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer. Stuart Shafer is a Lansing DUI defense attorney who has been helping individuals who have been charged with DUI for nearly 40 years now so it is safe to say he is familiar with the legal system and how he can help get your charges reduced.

Now, if you are wondering what can affect your OWI charge, that is explained below:

  1. Your BAC level.

Whether you were driving in East Lansing or Dewitt, if an officer pulls you over, tests your BAC level, and it is .08 or higher, which is the legal limit for individuals age 21 and older, you are automatically at risk of being convicted of DUI. How much over the legal limit will determine how your charges increase in severity. If you under the age of 21, the legal limit is .02 or greater. Michigan also has a high-BAC law which enhances your penalties if your BAC is .17 or higher.

Below we have outlined what the penalties are for DUI with a BAC below .17 and those for a BAC.17 or higher.

If your BAC was below .17 and this is your first offense, you are looking at:

  • Up to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 180 days license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver’s license

If your BAC is .17 or higher and this is your first offense, these are the penalties you could potentially face:

  • Up to $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to one year license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver’s license
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock use

[Source: Michigan State Police].

  1. If you caused a drunk driving accident. Because drunk drivers are operating a vehicle while impaired, they have a higher chance of engaging in an accident. Your charges, fines, and fees will be determined based on the type of accident, the injuries or deaths that occurred, and if there was any property damage done. In some cases, individuals who caused a fatal drunk driving accident could wind up being charged with involuntary manslaughter.
  2. If you refused to take a breathalyzer test. Individuals who refuse to take a breathalyzer test upon request will have their license will be suspended automatically for one-year. That is if this is your first time refusing the test. If it is the second time within a seven-year timeframe, your license will be suspended for two years.

If you would like to learn more about the potential penalties you could be facing for your DUI charge or how our Lansing DUI/OWI attorneys can help to get your charges reduced, contact us now by calling 517-487-6603.

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