DUI is a term many of us have heard before, and also something we all fear. Driving under the influence is dangerous for the driver and for all others on the road. Due to the seriousness of a DUI, Michigan places very severe penalties to discourage people to drive while intoxicated. If you have received a DUI charge, a criminal defense lawyer at Hilf & Hilf, is ready to defend you in the court of law. We understand the severity of DUI and understand how it can affect your life due to the penalties Michigan currently has in place.
If you are over the age of 21, Michigan’s legal alcohol limit, or your BAC (blood alcohol content), is .08 percent. While the penalties for a DUI or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) vary depending on the offense, if you are caught while driving with a BAC over .08 percent, you will receive a DUI. For those under the age of 21, there is a Zero Tolerance Law, which means that if a minor even has .02 percent of alcohol in their system while driving, they will receive a DUI and must face the consequences of violating the law.
For a first offender, the penalties can be as severe as a 93-day jail sentence, fines of anywhere between $100 to $500, and a suspended license for six months. Also, if there are no extenuating circumstances, the first DUI offense is a misdemeanor. Fortunately, most judges will not sentence an individual to the full 93 days. However, the consequences become much more severe with each additional offense. For a second offense, the person faces the possibility of spending an entire year in jail. Other penalties include a fine from $200 to $1,000 and a suspended license for a minimum of 1 year (revocation of driving privileges for 2 convictions within 10 years), community service, rehabilitative programs, possible vehicle immobilization; fines/costs including reimbursing the government for emergency response and prosecuting the Defendant. Third time offenders have the same penalties as second time offenders with regard to fines and license suspension. Jail time is increased to 30 days up to 1 year. A person charged with OUIL 3rd Offense can receive a prison sentence up to 5 years (or more time if they are deemed to be a Habitual Offender). For a person determined to be “Super Drunk”, where the blood alcohol level is .17 or higher, there is a possible jail sentence of up to 180 days, $200-$700 fines, community service, rehabilitative programs, possible vehicle immobilization; fines/costs including reimbursing the government for emergency response and prosecuting the Defendant.
Michigan enacted these harsh penalties to deter people from driving under the influence. While the law can be tough, an experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your situation and build a defense that will help you receive the best possible result. A DUI conviction can affect your freedom, your reputation, your employment, your ability to pursue your educational aspirations, your ability to lawfully drive, your professional license, and your insurance rates. If you would like to discuss your situation with a confident and compassionate attorney, contact Hilf & Hilf today for a free consultation.