First Offense OWI in Michigan

DUI Charges in Michigan


A person’s first Operating While Intoxicated (“OWI”) offense will almost always be considered a misdemeanor. The exception to this rule would involve the death or serious injury of a person during the commission of the OWI. However, most individuals will appear in a state-level district court. In order to be found guilty of an OWI, the city attorney/prosecutor must prove:

  1. You operated a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles;
  2. You were under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or other intoxicated substance at the time of your operation of the vehicle;
  3. You had an alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood or per 210 liters of breath.

What does this mean? It means that you drove your car while your bodily alcohol content was over the legal limit for alcohol, or you were under the influence of drugs. You may also be charged/offered a plea deal to Operating While Visibly Impaired (“OWVI”). This means that your use of alcohol/controlled substances visibly impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle. If the prosecutor is able to prove the above-listed elements, you will be subject to the following penalties:

  1. Jail for up to 93 days (No mandatory jail sentence)
    a. If your BAC was 0.17 (Super Drunk) or higher, up to 180 days is possible (No mandatory jail)
  2. Fine of $100.00 – $500.00
    a. $200.00 – $700.00 if convicted of Super Drunk
  3. Community service for not more than 360 hours
  4. Probation up to 2 years
  5. Alcohol/Drug Education Classes
  6. Alcohol/Drug Testing

In addition to these criminal penalties, you will be subject to sanctions by the Secretary of State. These sanctions include:

  1. 6 Points on driving record for an OWI;
    a. 30 day License Suspension, followed by 5 months of a Restricted License
  2. 6 Points on driving record for an OWI w/ BAC over 0.17;
    a. 1 year Suspended License, eligible for Restricted License after 45 days w/ proof of installation of an Ignition Interlock (Breathalyzer).
  3. 4 Points on driving record for an OWVI;
    a. 90 day Restricted License (NO MANDATORY SUSPENSION)

While OWI charges are severe and can have life-altering consequences, you do not need to face your legal issues alone! Our office has handled countless first offense OWI cases. The lawyers from the Macomb Law Group have the experience to get you the best outcome possible. Call us at (586) 225-7200 to schedule your free consultation today!


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