You probably know operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is a serious crime in the state of Michigan. What you may not know, however, is just how serious it actually is—even if it your first brush with the law. Indeed, if you are convicted of a Michigan OWI first offense, you may be sentenced to fines, community service, and even jail time.
Although a first OWI offense is classified as a misdemeanor crime, your sentence may include up to 93 days in jail, as well as a 90-day driver’s license suspension. In addition, you can be fined as much as $300, and be required to complete a court-approved alcohol education program or perform up to 360 hours of community service. If your OWI caused serious injury or death, you may then face felony charges, and can be sentenced up to twenty years in a federal prison.
Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .08% is illegal in Michigan. Therefore, anyone driving with a BAC above .08% can also be charged with unlawful blood content, or UBAL—regardless of whether his or her driving abilities were impaired. Due to the state’s Zero Tolerance Law, drivers under the legal drinking age of 21 can be charged with UBAL if their BAC is above .02%. As a result, if you failed a breath test or refused to submit to chemical testing, you may face additional charges and increased penalties.
Clearly, the consequences of an OWI first offense are life-altering. Moreover, it is important to note that your life will be impacted long after your sentence is complete. An OWI conviction will not only make it difficult to obtain affordable auto insurance, but also permanently remain on your criminal record. This means anyone who checks your background will know you were caught drunk driving—a fact that can seriously jeopardize future job, housing, and educational opportunities.
Fortunately, a skilled OWI attorney can help you fight your drunk driving charges. With over a decade of experience in OWI defense, attorney Patrick T. Barone has the knowledge to represent you. Contact Barone Defense Firm today for a free consultation on your case.
Please review the following video presentations below featuring attorney Patrick T. Barone: