Stacey M. Washington, Attorney and CounselorAttorney and Counselor
Protect Your Rights, Call or Email Me Today.

Ann Arbor/Washtenaw Drunk Driving Criminal Charges

Thumbnail image for Glass-Red-Wine-1837233.jpg

In Michigan, it is against the law for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 % in Ann Arbor, he or she will be charged with operating while intoxicated (OWI), or operating with the presence of drugs (OWPD). If a person has a BAC of .17% or higher, he or she may face a Super Drunk charge, which carries increased consequences.

Read on to learn more about what happens if you are arrested and charged with a OWI /OWPD in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Field Sobriety Tests

If a driver is pulled over regarding the suspicion of drunk driving, or operating a motor vehicle under the presence of a controlled substance, he or she may undergo a variety of field sobriety tests administered by a law enforcement official. The police officer will provide the driver with the opportunity to take a chemical test. Before administering such test, the police officer must read the driver his or her chemical test rights. The chemical test rights will inform the driver of the various penalties he or she may face as a result of refusing to take the chemical test.

Chemical Test

Under Michigan's implied consent law, by driving a car in the state, a person impliedly consents to take a chemical test by breath, urine or blood if he or she is arrested under the suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The machine used for breath testing is called the DataMaster or Datamaster DMT. Whether a person takes a preliminary breath test (PBT) during field sobriety testing or not, he or she must take the evidentiary test required by the implied consent law. If a person fails the chemical test, meaning his or her BAC is above .08%, he or she will be arrested and charged with an OWI.

If a person refuses to take the chemical test in Ann Arbor, the police officer may obtain a search warrant for a blood test and the person may face a one-year driver's license suspension and have 6 points added to his or her driving record. A person may request an implied consent administrative hearing regarding his or her alleged refusal. A person will have 14 days from the date of the arrest to request a hearing.

Note, there are several factors associated with a chemical test that can lead to a person testing at or above the legal BAC limit. An experienced drunk driving attorney can help determine if proper procedures were followed.

Secretary of State Driver Traffic Safety Division

In addition to criminal charges for OWI/OWPD, a person may also face civil administrative penalties with the Michigan's Secretary of State Driver Traffic Safety Division (TSD). The hearing with TSD will suspend a person's driving privileges under certain conditions. It is best to have an experienced OWI/OWPD attorney throughout the TSD administrative hearing process.

Penalties & Sentencing


Court Fines

Jail Sentence

License Suspension

1st Offense


Up to 93 days in jail.

Driver's license suspension for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days.

1st Offense High BAC

$200 - $700

Up to 180 days in jail.

Driver's license suspension for one year. The Secretary of State may issue a restricted license 45 days after the suspension starts if the person is otherwise eligible. Proof of installation of an ignition interlock device is required before a restricted license will be issued.

2nd Offense


5 days to 1 year in jail.

Driver's license revocation and denial for a minimum of 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).

3rd Offense


1 to 5 years imprisonment.

Driver's license revocation and denial if there are 2 convictions within 7 years or 3 convictions within 10 years. The minimum period of revocation and denial is 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).

If you have been arrested for a OWI/OWPD in Ann Arbor, contact Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington to help you navigate through this difficult situation in your life. Stacey Washington has helped several clients mitigate any long-term consequences of OWIs/OWPDs.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information