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Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs in Michigan

Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs in Michigan

1. Do I have to consent to taking a preliminary breath or chemical test?

No. Under Michigan State law, you have the right to refuse to take a preliminary breath test and/or a chemical test. If you refuse to take a preliminary breath test, you will receive a civil infraction ticket. However, if you refuse to take a chemical test without good cause, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for one year. Furthermore, a warrant can be issued allowing a chemical test, such as a blood sample, to be taken from you in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC).

2. Will my driver's license be suspended or revoked?

It depends. If you refused to take a chemical test upon being arrested for drunk driving and didn't have good cause to refuse, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for one year and six points will be added to your driver's license.

If you are arrested for drunk driving within seven years of your first arrest, and refuse to take the test again without good cause, then your driver's license will be automatically suspended for two years and six points will be added to your driver's license.

If you agree to take the test and the chemical test results show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above .08% or more, your driver's license will be destroyed by the police officer and you will be issued a 625g temporary permit to drive until your criminal case is resolved.

Operating while intoxicated (OWI) convictions carry a 6 month license suspension for the first conviction. No driving is allowed for the first 30 days. The license is restricted for the remaining 5 months.

Operating with a High BAC (super drunk) convictions carry a one year license suspension. No driving is allowed for the first 45 days. Driving restrictions are permitted for the remaining time only if an ignition interlock device is installed on all vehicles.

Your license will be revoked for a minimum of one year for a second drunk driving conviction within 7 years of the first conviction. Felony drunk driving convictions carry a minimum 1 to 5 year revocation.

Individuals with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) face a 1 year suspension of the CDL for a first offense DUI conviction. A second misdemeanor conviction will result in a 10 year CDL revocation and 1 year Operator's license revocation. Felony DUI convictions result in lifetime CDL revocation and a minimum 5 year Operator's license revocation.

3. How do I find an attorney to represent me?

You can ask family and/or friends to recommend a drunk driving attorney to represent you. If you do not want to disclose the matter to your loved ones and friends, you can look online to find a DUI attorney. I recommend you thoroughly check the attorney's qualifications to ensure that you receive the best representation possible.

4. How much does a DUI cost?

The cost of a DUI in Michigan varies on a case-by-case basis. You can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $20,000 on legal representation alone. Furthermore, if convicted, you will be required to pay penalties, fines, and court costs in addition to driver's license fees and possibly ignition interlock device fees. There may also be fees for alcohol and substance abuse treatment not covered by medical insurance. A DUI attorney will be able to review your case and provide you with a detailed cost breakdown of what you can expect to pay.

5. Can I expunge a DUI conviction from my criminal record?

No. Unfortunately DUI convictions cannot be expunged in Michigan. It will stay on your criminal record for a lifetime. Therefore, it is important to retain an attorney as soon as possible after arrest so that you receive the best defense representation possible to ensure that a drunk driving conviction does not go on your criminal record or that the negative consequences are minimized.

6. What does "super drunk" driving mean and what type of penalties will I face if convicted?

You will be charged with super drunk driving if you operate a motor vehicle in Michigan with a BAC of .17% or greater. If convicted, you will incur enhanced criminal sentencing and penalties such as being required to install a ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a specified amount of time. Note, your BAC must be .17% to be charged with super drunk driving.

7. Will I be required to install an ignition interlock device?

If you are convicted of super drunk driving, or convicted of a second drunk driving offense, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device. The device is also required by Sobriety Courts.

For more information about DUI charges in Washtenaw County, contact me. I have practiced law for over 25 years and have extensive experience prosecuting and defending individuals charged with drunk driving. Call 734-274-6567 to schedule a case consultation.

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