Drunk Driving FAQ

I have been arrested for OWI, what does that mean?
 
OWI is short for operating while intoxicated.
 
What is the legal limit for driving in the State of Michigan?
 
Blood or breath alcohol levels of .08 or higher usually result in a charge of OWI. If you are under 21, driving with any alcohol in your system is considered a minor BAC offense.
 
Should I have refused to take the breath test?
 
Generally, no. If you refuse to take a breath test, you will automatically lose your driving privileges for 12 months and have 6 points entered on your driving record. Therefore, first time offenders who are not involved in a traffic accident are generally better off taking the test when asked to do so.
 
What is the maximum penalty for drunk driving?
 
Assuming there was no accident or injuries involved, the maximum criminal penalties for OWI are 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. For impaired driving, the maximum criminal penalties are 93 days in jail and a $300 fine.
 
I have been arrested for drunk driving, am I going to lose my license?
 
Maybe. If you are convicted of a second offense within a 7 year period, you will lose your license. If this is your first offense, it is possible to get a restricted license for a certain period of time after which you will have to pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back.
 
The police officer didn't read me my rights, can I get out of this thing?
 
Generally, the Miranda rights must be read to you if you are interrogated while in police custody. If they are not, any statements that you say should be suppressed. Since drunk driving cases do not heavily bank on statements of the person arrested, failure of the officer to read you your rights will not get you out of the ordeal.
 
Do I need an attorney?
 
You do not need an attorney. However, you should have one. An experienced attorney will fully evaluate your case to determine if there are any grounds to challenge your arrest or suppress any evidence. The attorney should evaluate your case and give you an honest assessment on whether you could win your case at trial. If you do not have counsel, you are not doing yourself a favor.
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