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Oakland County DUI Attorney

Driving Under the Influence Laws in Michigan

Though the charge is often called driving under the influence (DUI), under Michigan law, drunk drivers are charged with OWI, or operating while intoxicated. It is illegal for a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more to operate a vehicle, even in a parking lot. However, “intoxication” can also refer to an individual under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana, or certain prescription drugs.

Understanding Your DUI Charge

Soon after you’re charged, you’ll want to review your case with an experienced attorney to see what defense options are available to you. Our Birmingham DUI lawyer will check to see if your charge was handled properly and, if not, bring that evidence to bear in your case.

Charges vary depending on the perceived seriousness of the offense. While a first-time offender may get a minor penalty, a repeat offense—or one that involved harm to property or people—can incur significant fines or imprisonment.

Aggravating Factors for DUI

Factors that could make a DUI charge more serious include:

  • Violations that occur within seven years of a prior conviction
  • Violations that occur after two or more prior convictions
  • Impaired drivers under the age of 21 driving with a minor younger than 16 in the vehicle
  • An accident resulting in the serious injury of another person
  • An accident resulting in the death of another person
  • Having a BAC higher than 0.17%

What are the Penalties for DUI?

If you have been arrested in Oakland County for a DUI, you could face the following penalties:

First offense DUI penalties:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • 2 years probation
  • Up to $500 in fines
  • 360 hours of community service
  • License suspension for 30 days

Second offense DUI penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • Mandatory Vehicle Immobilization

Third offense DUI penalties:

  • Up to 5 years in jail
  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Up to 1800 days of community service
  • Mandatory Vehicle Immobilization

Field Sobriety Tests

If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, the officer is likely going to perform a field sobriety test. The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - In this test the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is impaired.
  • Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line and the return back. The officer is looking for signs that the person is impaired such as not being able to keep their balance, starting before the instructions are finished or not following the instructions properly.
  • One-leg stand test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds or until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment such as swaying, hoping or using their arms to balance.

Rights First Law Can Protect Your Rights

At Rights First Law, we make sure you are fully informed about the court process and understand all the options for your case. We care about you and your future, and we can fight to protect you at every step in the process.

Make sure you have a strong defense for DUI charges. Contact the Birmingham DUI attorney at Rights First Law at (248) 785-3334.

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