You may see the inside of a jail cell if you are convicted of an OWI/DUI. Michigan takes operating any type of vehicle while intoxicated from drugs or alcohol very seriously. As almost everyone knows, the legal BAC limit across the U.S. is 0.08 percent. But if you are younger or impaired due to some other substance, you can still be arrested for an OWI without blowing over the legal limit. This charge can lead to numerous penalties, one of which is jail time. If you’re currently facing your first OWI/DUI charge, contact the experienced OWI defense attorneys at DeBruin Law. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can reduce the risk of heading to jail for a mistake.
Michigan OWI Law & Penalties
Michigan has multiple laws that address drunk or drugged driving. You can be charged with an OWI if it’s believed alcohol or drugs are substantially impairing your ability operate a vehicle safely or you have a BAC at or above 0.08 percent.
The statutory punishment for an OWI includes:
- Up to 93 days in jail
- A fine up to $500
- Up to 360 hours of community service
- A 30 day driver’s license suspension, followed by 150 days of a restricted license
- Vehicle immobilization
- Ignition interlock device
- 6 points on your driving records
- Driver’s responsibility fee of $1,000 for 2 consecutive years
The punishments for having a high BAC are similar but generally for longer durations. For instance, you could spend up to 180 days in jail for having a BAC at or above 0.17 percent. Your license could be suspended for 1 year and longer use of the ignition interlock device.
The Risk of Jail is Real
As you can see, Michigan law allows for even first-time OWI offenders to spend approximately 3 months in jail. If this is a second OWI conviction within a certain period of time or you were found to have a BAC at or above .17 percent, you’re facing a longer sentence. You need a skilled attorney to show a judge that consequences such as license suspension or restrictions, alcohol or drug treatment, community service, and probation are more appropriate for your circumstances than jail. Your attorney can also work to negotiate a fair plea bargain with the prosecutor that doesn’t include jail time.
How Experienced OWI Defense Attorneys from DeBruin Law Can Help
There are steps you can take to avoid spending time in jail if you believe you’ll be convicted of an OWI. First, get a Lansing OWI defense attorney from DeBruin Law to defend you. Second, be open to the alcohol or drug assessment and participating in alcohol or drug education or rehabilitation. By showing the court your willing to get help, you demonstrate that jail isn’t the right place for you.
For more information on how to face an OWI charge, call DeBruin Law today at (517) 324-4303.