Suppose a driver has not had a prior conviction of DUI (known in Michigan as operating while intoxicated, or OWI)) and is found driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08. In that case, they are generally charged with a first offense DUI in Michigan.
What to Expect After Your First Offense DUI in Michigan
Well, you will almost certainly be arrested and do at least one overnight in jail. Our best guess is that you’re reading this article after being accused of DUI, so you probably know that full well by now. Beyond that, though, there are plenty of reasons for concern, but also for hope. The penalties can be stiff, but a good lawyer can help you navigate the system and avoid some of the pitfalls that come with a first-offense DUI charge.
Potential Penalties for a First Offense DUI
Individuals who are convicted of a Michigan first offense DUI are subject to penalties that include:
- Up to 93 days in jail.
- Up to 360 hours of community service.
- Fines of $500.
- A driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days. After the first 30 days, the individual can seek a restricted license to drive to school or work.
Suppose the DUI offense involves a passenger under the age of 16. In that case, the individual faces additional penalties upon conviction, including a mandatory fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail. Community service requirements are also higher if the individual is convicted of a DUI while transporting a child in their car.
Zero Tolerance for Underage DUI
Michigan has a zero-tolerance stance on underage drinking, meaning kids under 21 cannot have any alcohol in their system (though there’s a carveout for drinking as part of a religious ceremony, in which case the kid’s BAC can be up to 0.02). Underage drivers charged with DUI in Michigan face many of the same consequences as adults convicted of DUI.
Finding a Quality DUI Lawyer in Michigan
Suppose you have been charged with a DUI first offense in Michigan. In that case, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights during the criminal process and potentially reduce the seriousness of the charge or consequences you face. For more information and to obtain answers to the legal questions you have about your case, contact us.