DUI/OWI Defense

In Michigan, like many other states, drunk driving is one of the most prosecuted crimes. In a concerted effort to reduce drunk driving, all states and most local counties have imposed strict laws against driving while intoxicated.  While other states typically refer to a drunk driving offenses as a DUI, in Michigan we refer such an offense as “Operating While Intoxicated;” more commonly known as an OWI. However, the term OWI and DUI are synonymous.

In Michigan, OWIs are not solely associated with drinking and driving or motor vehicle offenses; they are also associated with other crimes such as driving under the influence of narcotics (even prescribed medication), and operating a boat under the influence of narcotics and or alcohol.

If you are arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated, whether it be for narcotics or alcohol, the consequences can be severe; you may lose your driver’s license, pay heavy fines, have your vehicle impounded and even receive a jail sentence. OWI convictions remain on your permanent criminal record and as a result, may interfere with your livelihood, causing you to lose your job or hinder future employment opportunities. With such high stakes, it is crucial that you contact a qualified OWI defense attorney as soon as you are arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Our law firm understands the anxiety and fear one feels after being arrested for drunk driving, and we will diligently represent you to ensure the best possible resolution for your case. We have a thorough understanding of sobriety tests and law enforcement protocol which can be part of an effective and comprehensive defense against the OWI charges you face. During our initial consultation with you, we will determine if there was police error, field sobriety test errors or inaccuracies, failure to follow proper protocol or administrative errors which may prove your innocence or lead to the dismissal of charges by the prosecution. 

In Michigan, how much is too much?

  • Michigan’s Impaired Driving Law has set the limits on how much is too much in regards to an operator’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). They are as follows:



    Under 21

    .00 No Tolerance

    Over 21

    .08 or Greater


    .04 or Greater


    .17 or Greater = Super Drunk Offense

  • However, if you plan on operating a motor vehicle, in regards to how much is too much, you should not have anything to drink.
  • In addition, if an individual has a BAC of .17 or greater, may be charged with a Super Drunk Offense. Such offenses carry additional fines and penalties. 

What are the potential penalties for a DUI/OWI in Michigan?

1st Offense

  • Jail: Up to 93 days
  • Fines and Penalties: From $100 to $500
  • License Suspension: Up to 6 months
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Possible

2nd Offense:

  • Jail: 5 days to a Year
  • Fines and Penalties: $200 to $1,000
  • License Suspension: Minimum of 1 year
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Yes

3rd Offense: 

  • Jail: 30 days to a Year
  • Fines and Penalties: $200 to $1,000
  • License Suspension: Minimum of 1 year
  • Ignition Interlock Device: Yes

Beyond the aforementioned consequences, drunk drivers that have been convicted of OWIs may face additional penalties, especially if the new OWI is a 2nd or greater offense. Such as:

  • Automatic 1 year suspension of license for refusing a breath test.
  • Automatic 2 year suspension of license for 2nd refusal of a breath test within 7 years
  • Automatic 5 year suspension of license for 3rd refusal of a breath test within 7 years.

How does the Court determine whether your OWI amounts to a 2nd or greater offense?

  • In Michigan, the period of time Courts look back to determine whether your offense amounts to a 2nd or greater offense is 7 years.

Is my OWI a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

  • While ones Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is a very  important factor in determining the legal consequences of driving drunk, the circumstances leading to ones arrest also help to determine whether a OWI is a felony, misdemeanor, or a lessor charged.

OWI cases are complex and the laws which govern them vary dramatically depending upon the state or municipality in which the charges are filed. Our attorneys are well versed in all local and state-wide OWI regulations and have experience interacting with police departments, prosecutors and the department of motor vehicles. If you’ve been arrested for OWI or OWVI, contact our law firm today to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys who will fight on your behalf to ensure your OWI arrest does not turn into a conviction.

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| Phone: 248-798-8903

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