Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), often referring to as DUI, can be a serious crime under Michigan law, and it is important to not only understand the charges brought against you, but to retain an attorney who has experience fighting and defending those charges. Under Michigan Vehicle Code §257.625, you may be charged with OWI if you are suspected of operating a motor vehicle when your blood alcohol concentration exceeds Michigan’s .08 legal limit, or simply when you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs even if your BAC is under the legal limit.

The consequences of an OWI charge can be severe and lasting, and ti important to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about the potential consequences you may be facing. If you are convicted of an OWI, you face the following potential punishment:

  • Jail or prison sentence
  • Suspension, restriction, or even revocation of driver’s license
  • Immobilization or impoundment of your vehicle
  • Use of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Points on your driver’s license, and accordingly, increased insurance premiums
  • Fines and court fees
  • Risk of job loss

Given what is at stake, it is critical you hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending against OWI charges and the potential consequences these charges come with. The sooner you contact ZAYID LAW, the sooner I can investigate the facts of your case, preserve your rights, and fight for the best possible outcome.

Penalties for a Michigan OWI Conviction

While you may receive serve punishment for a first offense OWI, the penalties only become harsher for every subsequent conviction, and, in some cases, if your BAC is significantly above the legal limit.

Penalties for OWI are codified under Section 257.625 of the Michigan Vehicle Code, though they can also be determined by what the presiding judge considers to be “reasonable” based on the facts, evidence, and circumstances of a case. Contact ZAYID LAW to receive a free initial case analysis to review the facts and circumstances of your case.

FIRST OWI OFFENSE: MISDEMEANOR

  • Jail. Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Fines. Up to $500.
  • Court Costs. Between $500 and $1000, depending on your jurisdiction.
  • Points. Six (6) points added to your driver’s license.
  • Driver’s License Suspension. 30-day driver’s license suspension AND restricted license for 150 days after the suspension period.
  • Community service. Up to 360 hours.

In addition to the above sanctions, the Court will order a substance abuse evaluation, alcohol education classes, and random alcohol testing.

SECOND OWI OFFENSE: MISDEMEANOR

  • Jail. Mandatory minimum of 5 days and up to 1 year in jail.
  • Fines. $200 and $1,000.
  • Court Costs. Between $500 and $1000, depending on your jurisdiction.
  • Points. Six (6) points on your driver’s license.
  • Driver's License Revocation. A minimum 1 year revocation OR 5 years if your license has been revoked within the preceding 7 years.
  • Mandatory Vehicle immobilization. The driver’s vehicle will be immobilized for 90 to 180 days unless the vehicle is forfeited.
    • Includes license plate confiscation.
  • Community Service. 30 to 90 days.

In addition to the above sanctions, the Court will order a substance abuse evaluation, alcohol education classes, and random alcohol testing.

THIRD (OR MORE) OWI OFFENSE: FELONY

It’s a felony in Michigan when you get a third or subsequent OWI conviction within your lifetime, or have two or more convictions for certain other types of offenses. The penalties for a felony third or subsequent OWI conviction may include:

  • Prison. Mandatory minimum 30 days in jail. Up to 1 to 5 years.
  • Fines. Between $500 to $5,000.
  • Points. Six (6) points on your driver’s license.
  • Driver's License Revocation. Up to five (5) years.
  • Vehicle Immobilization. Your vehicle will be immobilized and possible vehicle forfeiture. Vehicle immobilization will be performed on any vehicle your name is titled.
    • Includes license plate confiscation.
  • Community Service. Between 60 to 180 days.

In addition to all of these consequences, a person convicted of third-offense drunk driving will also face a period of probation or parole. This will almost always include court costs and an alcohol treatment plan.

HIGH BAC OR “SUPER DRUNK” OWI

When you are accused of having a BAC above .17, you are considered “Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level” or “Superdrunk” and will be met with harsher penalties. First offense is a misdemeanor, though you may also face the following penalties:

  • Jail. Up to six (6) months or 180 days in jail.
  • Fines. Between $200 to $700.
  • Court Costs. Between $500 to $1,000.
  • Points. Six (6) points on your driving record.
  • Driver’s License Suspension. 45-day driver’s license suspension AND restricted license for 150 days after the suspension period.
  • Ignition Interlock. An ignition interlock device will be installed in your vehicle for a minimum of the time of your restricted license.
    • If you are pulled over and charged for driving without an ignition interlock device, your license plate may be confiscated and Michigan law requires that your vehicle be immobilized.
  • Community Service. Maximum 360 hours.

How Does Zayid Law Defend Your OWI Charge?

There are several findings of fact that the system must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of OWI:

  1. Under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  2. Operated a motor vehicle.
  3. Your ability to drive was impaired because of the consumption of alcohol or drugs.

The system builds its case against you based on the evidence collected by the police. However, that evidence is not always perfect. ZAYID LAW recognizes the imperfections in the way in which police investigate the scene, collect chemical or blood testing, chain of custody issues, unlaw searches and seizure violations, etc. ZAYID LAW knows what to look for in order to challenge the charges brought against you and to maximize your opportunity to fight the charges.

Some common defense strategies in OWI cases include:

  • No probable cause for traffic stop.
  • Improper BAC or chemical blood test.
  • Inconclusive results of breath or chemical blood test.
  • Failure to obtain search warrant or Illegal search warrant in obtaining a sample from you.
  • No probable cause to arrest you.
  • Improper reading of your Miranda rights upon arrest.

Why ZAYID LAW For Your OWI Charge?

ZAYID LAW has the knowledge and experience to defend against first, second or third DUI offenses to protect our clients from even the most severe potential consequences. We will scrutinize every step of the investigation and arrest to determine if the police or arresting officers made any mistakes that could lead to your exoneration. Our team will explore every potential strategy to ensure you receive the best possible outcome for your case.

ZAYID LAW understands that with OWI charges, you need to act fast. I am available 24/7 to take on your case and defend you from the instant you sense you may be in trouble. Do not allow the police to take advantage of you during a traffic stop – contact ZAYID LAW in order to preserve your rights during the investigation and in court.

Contact ZAYID LAW for Drunk Driving Defense

Call our firm now at 888-ZAYID-LAW for a free initial case analysis. We are available 24/7 to speak to you at no cost, and you can also contact us online. Ask to set up a free consultation with attorney Justin Zayid.