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Drunk Driving & DUIs in Macomb County




Operating While Intoxicated 1st Offense (OWI)

It is a crime for a driver to have a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater if over age 21, or .02 or greater if under 21.  In addition, Michigan has a high-BAC law with enhanced penalties for anyone caught driving with a BAC of .17 or higher. However, drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle.  Generally, a person can be found guilty of Operating While Intoxicated and receive a DUI if they are operating a motor vehicle and the prosecution can prove that their BAC was .08 or greater.  The police will request a suspected intoxicated driver to complete field sobriety tests, a preliminary breath test, a Data Master breathalyzer at the police station, or a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol a driver has consumed.

Furthermore, drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 narcotic--such as marijuana, GHB, or heroin--can be subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment.


Operating While Intoxicated 2nd Offense

A person may be charged with a second offense drunk driving if the 2nd alcohol-related driving offense falls within 7 years of the date of the prior alcohol-related driving offense. While there are a number of differences between a first and second offense, the most significant is the potential for up to 1 year in jail, and the fact that a person’s license will be revoked for at least 1 full year. A revoked license means no driving at all, not even with a restricted license, as this action is mandated by law, and is imposed by the State, and not the Court. After one year without a license, you may be eligible to apply for a restricted license with the Secretary of State Driver Assessment and Appeal Department (DAAD). For more information regarding getting your license back for drunk driving in Macomb County, visit the driver's license restoration page.


Costs and Consequences of a Drunk Driving Conviction
Operating While Intoxicated 1st Offense
  • Up to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 180 days license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver's license
  • Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years

Operating With a High BAC
  • Up to $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to one year license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver's license
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days license suspension
  • Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years

Operating While Intoxicated 2nd Offense
  • 5 days to 1 year in jail, or
  • 30 to 90 days Community Service, and
  • 1 year Revoked License (no driving at all, no license available)
  • $200 to $1000 fine, plus costs
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Vehicle Immobilization from 90 to 189 days, unless vehicle is forfeited
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 6 Points on your Driving Record
  • Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years

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What if I refuse a breath test?

If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated, the police will ask to administer a breath test. It is important to note that there are two different breath tests administered by the police. The first breath test, a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), is the test often used on the side of the road at the time the police pull you over. Anyone who refuses a PBT can be issued a civil infraction, which carries a fine and zero points on your driving record.

However, anyone that refuses a breath test at the police station, often referred to as the Data Master, is given an automatic one-year driver's license suspension. For a second refusal within seven years, the suspension is two years.  There are ways to appeal the automatic suspension, however there are specific time limits that must be followed to reserve your appeal.   If you have refused a breath test, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Bommarito Law immediately.