In Michigan, the penalties for drunk driving dramatically affect your life. The penalties have escalated to the point where one conviction can have serious life-long effects. For example, an Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge, regardless how long ago, can be brought back against you in any state criminal investigation for the felony drunk driving statute. The potential consequences you may face are jail time if it is a misdemeanor charge or prison if a felony, fines, probation, and severe licensing sanctions. Rademaker Law, P.C., as experienced attorneys, can help defend, inform and guide you through the complex and difficult process of pretrial rights and procedures. We can guide you through understanding the Michigan Datamaster test, the trial itself and the process of license restoration.
Fighting your OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) / DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
We work hard to protect your rights. We work with you to prepare a creative and effective defense plan. We keep your goals in mind as we negotiate with the prosecutor, file various motions and stand with you in court. We will begin to prepare you for your trial immediately. The steps you take after your OWI / DUI charge will have a major effect on the outcome of your trial. Rademaker Law, P.C. are the experienced and effective attorneys who will advise you whether to initiate a treatment and therapy program including possibly entering Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).
Three Levels of Offenses
- First Offense: The first offense carries license sanctions, potentially a six-month suspension, and up to 93 days in jail.
- Second Offense: A second offense is charged when an individual has been convicted of one drunk driving charge within the last seven years or the prior offense. The second offense carries up to a one-year jail sentence and revocation of ALL of your driving privileges until you seek restoration through the Secretary of State after a one-year minimum period.
- Third Offense: If you receive three drunk driving charges, you will be charged as a felony drunk driver. These charges may include out-of-state offenses as well. The third offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and revocation of your license, generally with a minimum revocation period of five years before you can initiate restoration of your driving privileges.
Michigan's Super-Drunk Law went into effect October 31, 2010. Super drunk means having a bodily alcohol content of 0.17 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.
Convicted super-drunk drivers face stiffer penalties, including a one-year breath alcohol ignition interlock requirement, higher fines and costs, and possibly more jail time.
Implied Consent Suspensions
If you do not take the Datamaster test when at the police station and/or jail, and they drew your blood, chances are the officer has deemed your refusal or failure as an implied consent violation. You will receive at the jail a "Request for Hearing" form and YOU MUST FILE FOR A HEARING WITHIN 14 DAYS; it does not matter if you continue to be incarcerated. If you do nothing, your license will automatically be suspended without any restrictive driving privileges and your only remedy is to go to the Circuit Court for a restricted license. Often, the implied consent suspension, points and penalties are more severe than the underlying drunk driving license sanctions. It is critical to contact us immediately after your arrest to dispute the implied consent violation.
The court has nothing to do with the drunk driving license sanctions. The Michigan Secretary of State controls your license as it relates to suspensions and revocations from drunk driving charges. The time to prepare for your future license restoration is immediately upon your arrest. It takes a tremendous amount of proof and lengthy sobriety to convince the Secretary of State to restore your driving privileges. There are administrative rules that people do not know about and will prevent you from ever being successful in your request to restore privileges. It is very important to consult with Ms. Rademaker, who specializes in the firm to handle the restoration of license privileges.