Drunk driving is a legal issue that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Motorists are often unable to tell whether they are beyond the legal limit, and police officers often overstep their bounds when pulling over and arresting motorists for suspicion of drunk driving. Although a DUI conviction may seem like a relatively minor offense, the truth of the matter is much different. A first time conviction can lead to a six month driver’s license suspension (or more for higher BAC levels), up to a year in jail, community service, and fines.
Those who have prior drunk driving convictions may find themselves facing felony charges if they are arrested again. In Michigan, a third offense is charged as a felony, as is drunk or drugged driving that results in death. An allegation of drunk or drugged driving that results in serious bodily injury to another person can result in felony charges, too. Those who are convicted of a felony for these crimes may wind up facing very harsh penalties.
For a third OWI conviction, an individual can face up to $5,000 in fines, five years in prison, 180 days of community service, driver’s license revocation, vehicle forfeiture, and denial of any attempts to register a vehicle. Those convicted of causing death or serious bodily injury can face even tougher penalties, including up to 15 years in prison, $10,000 in fines, and longer license revocation periods.
Those accused of felony drunk driving offenses have a lot on the line. These individuals need to ensure that they protect their legal rights so that they stand the best possible chance of avoiding prison, fines, and a mar to their record and reputation. Speaking with a qualified legal professional may therefore be in these individuals’ best interests.
Source: Michigan Secretary of State, “Substance Abuse and Driving,” accessed on Jan. 27, 2017