A driver in Michigan may be subject to varying penalties for a first offense. If the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above, the penalties will be less than if the BAC is .17% or higher. Michigan refers to DUIs as OWIs (Operating While Intoxicated) or if the driving is impaired and the BAC is below .08% the driver may be charged with an OWVI (Operating While visibly Impaired). Penalties increase if a minor is present in the vehicle or if there is bodily injury.
If BAC is below .17 and this is a first offense:
If BAC is .17 or higher and this is a first offense:
Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic one-year driver's license suspension.
If BAC is below .17% and this is a first offense:
If BAC is .17% or higher and this is a first offense:
Conviction of first offense in Michigan will influence charging and sentencing of subsequent OWI/DUI arrests for a period of seven (7) years.
(Read more about the actual costs of a first DUI, including attorney fees and insurance-rate increases.)
An OWI/DUI defendant in Michigan is not prohibited from bargaining down criminal charges. For example, a defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced. However, the ability to reduce charges typically depends on the availability of some evidence or proof that seriously attacks the prosecutor's case. For example, if your blood alcohol concentration level was significantly over the .08 standard in the state, or you injured another person, damaged property or had other complications to your case, it may be impossible to get a reduction of your charge. Your best chance of reducing charges is if you can prove:
Generally, your chances for a plea bargain improve with professional advice.
The state of Michigan does not expressly prohibit plea option deals involving reduction of OWI charges into lesser criminal offenses. For more information and insight into how this is possible, consult with a Michigan first OWI/DUI lawyer to find out more.