print shrink enlarge
Drunk driving lawyers in michigan

Drunk Driving / DUI / OWI

No field of criminal law – with the possible exception of sexual offenses – generates more public animosity and rancor than that of drunk driving. While the number of deaths caused by drunk driving has dropped dramatically in the past 30 years – down 51% from 1982 to 10,322 in 2012[1] – the number of arrests for drunk driving is still staggeringly high – 1.2 million in 2011.[2] As a result, laws across the United States have grown less tolerant and more uniform in their approach to handling this dangerous, but quite prevalent, crime. For example, nationwide the blood alcohol content level (BAC) limit to be classified as “drunk driving” is 0.08, and in most states, including Michigan, there are enhanced penalties for BAC levels over twice the legal limit.

At the same time state laws have evolved in this arena, the field of forensic sciences has expanded in its understanding of and ability to detect impaired driving due to alcohol and other controlled substances. Breath, blood, and urinalysis are more reliant than ever upon highly technical equipment requiring specialized training and skill, leaving the door even wider open for the possibility of human error than the commonly-administered field sobriety tests. Further complicating drunk driving cases is the impact these offenses have on driving privileges, which is often dependent upon how many offenses someone has acquired within a certain period of years.

Consequences of a Michigan DUI Conviction

In Michigan, the consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be steep and costly. For a first offense involving a BAC level below 0.17 (less than twice the legal limit), the penalties are[3]:

  • Up to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 180 days driver’s license suspension
  • 6 points on driver’s license

For BAC levels greater than 0.17 (more than twice the legal limit), the penalties for a first offense are:

  • Up to $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to one year driver’s license suspension
  • 6 points on driver’s license
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock device imposition for restricted driving privileges

With law enforcement aggressively policing drunk drivers and prosecutors going after alleged offenders without relent, the need for an experienced attorney savvy in the technical, legal, and scientific realms at issue in drunk driving offense cases is greater than ever before.

If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, driving under the influence (DUI), operating while impaired (OWI), or operating while under the influence of drugs (OWID), you need a lawyer who will file motions to suppress the test results submitted against you, hire expert witnesses to challenge those results if they are admitted at trial, and assertively cross-examine the arresting officer about how and whether he or she followed the proper protocol in administering those tests. These are difficult cases to “win” but these are the cases we take at the Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC, and this is how we pursue them: honestly, aggressively, and competently.

Don’t waste another minute worrying about whether or not you might lose your right to drive because of a drunk driving offense. Don’t think that just because the test results said one thing, that you’re up a creek without a paddle. Call the Peter J. Johnson Law Office today for your free consultation about your DUI or OWI case. We also handle driver’s license restoration cases if your license has been revoked because of a drunk driving offense. Call us today. If you don’t reach an attorney when you call, we guarantee a call back within 24 hours. How many attorneys do you know will make that kind of promise these days!

[1] According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

[2] Federal Bureau of Investigation: “Crime in the United States, 2011”