Part 2: The Court Process: First Offense Drunk Driving Cases In Macomb County, Michigan

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Most drunk driving (DUI or OWI) cases in Macomb County are resolved without trial. The vast majority of first offense drunk driving (DUI or OWI) cases can be negotiated to the lower offense, such as operating while impaired, unless there are policy reasons which prohibit the prosecuting attorney from plea bargaining.

Our attorneys will be able to review the police reports and discuss various options with our clients such as trial and deviation requests for charge reductions. When a client is charged with a high blood alcohol drunk driving for obtaining a chemical test result of .17% or more (High BAC or Super Drunk), is involved in an accident or has a prior record involving substance abuse, there are legal maneauvers which we will explore to get the case under control.

Court Process and Possible Sentence Conditions for First Offense Drunk Driving (DUI or OWI)

1. Arraignment: You are required to appear unless advised by your attorney that arraignment is waived. At arraignment, the court will advise you of the charges, set your next court date and impose bond conditions which may include random alcohol testing or alcohol monitoring.

2. Pretrial Conference: For misdemeanor charges, a pretrial conference is scheduled and a plea bargain may be negotiated or your case set for trial.

3. Substance Abuse Evaluation: You will be interviewed regarding your substance abuse history and a report will be prepared and provided to the Judge at the time of sentencing.

4. Sentence: The following possible penalties can be imposed by the Court at sentencing:
-Fines and Costs: $800.00 – $1,500.00 (due at the time of sentencing)
-Police/municipal response costs may be due to the city or township -Maximum Probation Term: Up to 2 years for misdemeanor (reporting or non-reporting)
-Substance abuse counseling, random testing for drugs and alcohol -Vehicle immobilization, vehicle forfeiture -Community Service
-Up to 93 days in Jail for OWI or Impaired Driving, Up to 180 days for Super Drunk
In general, the District Courts in Macomb County do not impose jail time for first offenders convicted of a drinking and driving offense. In many cases, our firm has been able to advocate for non-reporting probation. If there is a probation violation, the Court can impose any remaining jail time for a maximum of 93 days for OWI or Impaired or 180 days for Super Drunk. A probation violation can occur if a person receives a new criminal charge, fails to attend counseling or fails a random test.

Mandatory State of Michigan Sanctions for First Offense Drunk Driving

Super Drunk (High BAC .17% or more): License Action: 45 days suspended, 320 days restricted with ignition interlock device, $2,000.00 driver’s responsibility fee, 6 points.

Operate While Intoxicated (OWI or DUI): License Action: 30 days suspended, 150 days restricted, $2,000.00 driver’s responsibility fee, 6 points.

Impaired Driving (OWVI): License Action: 90 days restricted, $1,000.00 driver’s responsibility fee, 4 points.

License Restrictions, Limitations: When one’s license is restricted, driving is limited as follows:

-To and from residence and employment, and during employment;
-To and from alcohol or drug education or treatment program;
-To and from regularly scheduled treatment for serious medical condition;
-To and from probation, community service and school.

Other Important Information:

-Driver License revoked minimum of 1 year for 2 drinking and driving offenses within 7 years or 3 offenses within 10 years.
-A person may be charged with a felony for 3 lifetime drinking and driving offenses..
-If you refused the chemical test (implied consent refusal), you must file for a hearing or your license will be suspended for 1 year! You have limited rights to appeal a suspension based upon implied consent refusals.
-If your BAC is .17% or greater, an OWI can be amended to Super Drunk prior to final disposition or plea.