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Drunk Driving Defense

Arrested for Drunk Driving or for the presence of drugs in your System? Contact our office or call toll free for a free telephone consultation at 1-877-4-BARRIX (1-877-422-7749).Phones are answered 24 hours a day seven days a week all year!

How Much is too much!

Check your blood alcohol content on the BAC calculator click here!

Michigan became the 44th State to adopt the .08 blood alcohol content and now has some of the toughest Drunk Driving Laws in the Country. Previously the law was .10 for OUIL/UBAL and the lesser offense of Operating While Impaired (OWI) was infered at .08 and .09. As of October2003 Michiganadopted the .08 standard for what is now called OWI or operating while intoxicated. Impaired is now any amount of alcohol which visibly affects your ability to drive. Michigan also added Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) in ones system.

This is different from the former law which was operating under the influence of drugs. The Government no longer has to prove that the drugs impaired your ability to drive. If you used a schedule 1 drug such as marijuana and then drove two weeks later you could face the same consequences as a person who is clearly intoxicated, if that drug is still present within your system.

Michigan has also added a series of bad driver fees in addition to the fines and costs listed below. This mean on an offense of OWI or OWPD you will have to pay $1,000.00 for the next two years and $500.00 on an impaired for the next two years.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving contact our officeor call toll free 1-877-4-BARRIX (1-877-422-7749)

The new penalties under Michigan Drunk Driving Laws are as follows:

CONSEQUENCES OF CONVICTION OF ALCOHOL OR SUBSTANCE ABUSE/DRIVING OFFENSE

A. Criminal Penalties for Conviction of Operating While Intoxicated, Operating While Impaired, and Operating With Presence of Drugs (OFFENSE, JAIL, COMMUNITY SERVICE, &FINES)

First Offense - Operating While Intoxicated - $100.00 to $500.00 fine plus costs Up to 93 days Up to 360 hours

First Offense - Operating While Impaired - Up to $300.00 fine plus costs Up to 93 days Up to 360 hours

First Offense - Operating With Presence of Drugs- $100.00 to $500.00 fine plus costs Up to 93 days Up to 360 hours

Habitual offenders:

Any of the above with Prior Conviction* $200.00 to $1000.00 fine plus costs and 1 or more of the following:

  • 30 to 90 days community service
  • 5 days to 1 year in jail
  • *Prior Conviction means conviction under MCL 257.625(1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), and (25) and MCL 257.625m.

Three offenses within 10 years is a felony punishable by one to five years prison.

B. Screening and Additional Costs. All convictions for alcohol related driving offenses require the judge to order the defendant to undergo screening for substance abuse, and rehabilitation may be part of any sentence, all at defendant's expense. [MCL 257.625b(5)] In addition, the defendant may be ordered to pay the costs of prosecution. [MCL 257.625(13) ]

C. License Suspensions and Restrictions. Possible license sanctions may be imposed by the Secretary of State based upon the master driving record maintained by the Secretary of State under MCL 257.204. [MCL 257.625b(4)]

First Offense OWI, OWPD 6 points on your master driving record, 6 month suspension of driving preivledge, no restricted license first 30 days and $1,000.00 bad driver fee next two years.

First Offense Impaired 4 points on your master driving record 3 months suspension of driving privledge, restricted license issued immediately and $500.00 bad driver fee next two years.

Second Offense within seven years or third offense within ten years, conviction to conviction date, mandatory revocation until approved for reinstatement, minimum 1 year. If you are revoked for additional drunk driving offenses while previously revoked the result is a 5 year minimum revocation or until approved. See Drivers License Restoration

Sentences and licensing actions also apply to a person convicted of an attempted violation of any of the offenses listed above as if the offense had been completed. [MCL 257.204(b)]

The Stop

Police officers suspect drivers often based upon the time of the driving. Early morning hourswill often raise a police officers suspicions to the point that they will follow your vehicle until they find a reason to stop the vehicle. The reason can be based on one time of crossing the fog line on the right side of the road to having a burned out light on over the license plate(defective equipment). Police have even been so obvious as to pull a person over based on an airfreshner hanging from the rearview mirror(obstructed view).

While these tactics are clearly an abuse of police authority they are often upheld by the Courts. When you are stopped you must produce your license, registration, and insurance. Your passengers must also produce identification and step from a vehicle on request of a police officer. You do not have to answer any questions.

You have the right to remain silent. The smell of alcohol alone is not a basis for arrest! If you had two drinks only! This would not be a basis to for arrest. If you decide to answer questions. Don't volunteer statements. The officer is not your friend who only wants to chat with you. He is investigating and looking for a basis to arrest you! Silence is GOLDEN!

Field Sobriety Tests

Field Sobriety Tests(FST) or dexterity tests are not required. There is no penalty for refusing these. Often a Police Officer has made up his mind to arrest before he even asks you to perform these test. The purpose of these tests is to build evidence against you. Many times people pass these tests and they are arrested anyway. Further, how you perform on these tests, pass or fail, is upto the officer without witnesses. Not exactly fair combined with issues of weather, surfaces, traffic, nerves and other factors that intereefere with all of these tests. Carefully decide if you want to perform these tests.

Preliminary Breath Test (PBT)

Michigan law requires a person to submit to a PBT test upon the request of a police officer who has a reasonable cause to believe you are OWI. refusal of the PBT is $100.00 civil infraction. The PBT can be used to establish probable cause for the arrest. Itis not allowed to be admitted in Court as evidence except under limited circumstances. The PBT result may be used to establish probable cause to arrest.

Datatmaster Breath Test,Blood and Urine

Michigan has adopted an implied consent law. The implied consent statute requires the police to read your chemicaltests rights to you one you are under arrest for a drunk driving or operating withpresence of drugs case. This requires a person who is under arrest to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the request of a Police Officer. If you refuse the test one cannot be required without an order from a judge (Search Warrant). Typically, the Court will order blood drawn and occasionally urine. If you agree to take the test of the officers choosing then you have the right to demand a test of your own choosing by an independant person. (note nobody has an independant datamaster).

If your blood is taken per warrant you have no right to demand and independant test. Police officers can try to avoid the implied consent by claiming your not under arrest or blood was drawn for medical purpose if an accident occured. You have a right to refuse medical treatment particularly if it is used as a reason to get an alcohol sample for the government.

Datamaster and the other tests require a number of administrative rules be followed as well as medical and scientifc procedures. Contact our office if you have questions or call toll free 1-877-4-BARRIX (1-877-422-7749).

Refusal a chemical test after arrest under the implied consent law results in 1 year suspension of your driving privledges with a hardship restriction available on appeal to the Circuit Court. A second refusal is a two year suspension with no restricted privledge.

Experts

The Barrix Law Firmemploys the use of a number of experts including toxicolgist, datamaster experts, and private investigators. These experts have helped many clients prove thier innoncence or that they are were guilty of a less serious offense. We have also succefully represented clients without experts.

Know Your Rights

If you are arrested know your basic rights before you are in the District Court. If you have any questions contact our office or call toll free 1-877-4-BARRIX (1-877-422-7749). These are your misdemeanor rights in the District Court:

You have been brought to court on a misdemeanor charge.

You have the following basic rights:

a. To plead guilty or not guilty or to stand mute. If you stand mute, a plea of not guilty will be entered. You may plead no contest with the permission of the court.

b. To have a trial by judge or jury.

c. To have the assistance of an attorney.

2. You have the right to an attorney appointed at public expense if you are indigent (without money to hire an attorney) and if :

a. the offense charged requires a minimum jail sentence, or

b. the court determines that it might sentence you to jail.

3. You may have to repay the expense of a court appointed attorney.

4. If you have a trial, you have the following rights:

a. To call witnesses to speak for you at trial. You may get an order signed by the court to require witnesses to come to court.

b. To see, hear, and question all witnesses against you at trial.

c. To be a witness for yourself or to remain silent. If you choose not to be a witness on your own behalf, the prosecuting official may not comment on your refusal to testify.

d. To be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

5. If you plead guilty or no contest and your plea is accepted, you will not have a trial of any kind and will give up the rights listed in items 2 and 4 above.

6. You have the right to be released on bond.

7. If you are now on probation or parole and you enter a plea of guilty (or no contest) or a finding of guilt is made by judge or jury, it may result in a violation of your probation or parole.

8. Except for alcohol or substance abuse/driving offenses or unless otherwise advised by the court, you can be sentenced up to 93 days in jail, fined up to $100.00 plus costs, or both. (The court will advise you if there is a minimum jail sentence.)

9. Fines, costs, and other financial obligations imposed by the court must be paid at the time of assessment.

10. Possible sentences and license actions in alcohol or substance abuse/driving and retail fraud cases are shown on the other side of this form.

11. An appeal to circuit court may be taken within 21 days from date of sentence.

12. If you require special accommodations to use the court because of disabilities, or if you require a foreign language interpreter to help you to fully participate in court proceedings, please contact the court immediately to make arrangements.

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