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DUI trouble? Here's what you need to know

Driving while under the influence is a quick way to get into trouble with the law. When you drive while intoxicated in Michigan, you could end up facing charges, high fines, time in prison, the loss of your license and other penalties.

Michigan's laws are straightforward. They make it illegal to drive when you have a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, while using any Schedule I controlled substance, or while impaired by a controlled substance, prescription, alcohol or other intoxicating substance of any kind.

There are a few different kinds of charges that you could face. These include:

  • Operating while visibly impaired
  • Operating while intoxicated
  • Operating with any BAC while under the age of 21
  • Operating with the presence of a Schedule I drug (or cocaine)

Each one has its own penalties and could have a different influence on your life.

How does an officer decide if they're going to pull someone over for drunk or dangerous driving?

Initially, the officer will look for signs of impairment. Some common signs of impairment include:

  • Stopping too quickly or slowly
  • Going off the paved part of the roadway
  • Going from one lane to another without signaling (wandering)
  • Weaving
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Ignoring/failing to obey stop signs or traffic signals

In many cases, the driver ends up being stopped because other drivers report them by calling 911 or the local police non-emergency line.

What happens if you are accused of drunk driving and end up with a conviction?

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Michigan, you may lose your license for up to six months. In some cases, you could be eligible for a restricted license.

Another thing that may happen is that you could be forced to spend time in jail. A single conviction can be penalized with up to a year in prison. Additionally, you could face a one-year license suspension for driving with a high BAC of .17% or greater.

On top of all this, there are fines, court-ordered programs and ignition interlock devices that may be required.

As someone who has been accused of drinking and driving, you should know that Michigan is tough on drivers who shouldn't have been behind the wheel. You will want to take the time to build a strong defense against the allegations, so you can minimize the penalties that you face.

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