DUI Defense Attorneys in Detroit, Michigan

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense that can bring with it widespread consequences. Although Michigan continues to see fewer incidents of drunk driving, there were still 25,820 DUI arrests made in 2020, according to the Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit. 

If you’re facing charges for a DUI in Michigan, you need to seek legal representation even if you believe you’ve been unfairly charged. At Detroit Legal Group PLLC, we’re committed to defending your rights and fiercely representing your interests in the courtroom. From our offices in Detroit, Michigan, we’re able to serve clients throughout the area including Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren. Call us today to start discussing your options.

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DUI Charges in Michigan 

Michigan follows similar laws as other states regarding a drunk driving charge. If you’re over the age of 21, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over .08%. If you’re under 21, that percentage is .02%. These levels are just a guideline though as you can still be arrested for a DUI (also called a DWI in Michigan) at any BAC level if you show signs of impairment. 

DUI Tests and Your Rights

If you’ve been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you’ll likely be asked to take a breathalyzer as well as perform one or more sobriety tests. Michigan follows an implied consent law which states that by simply obtaining a driver's license and operating a vehicle, you have consented to give a chemical breath test if a law enforcement officer has a reasonable belief that you were driving while impaired. You can refuse this test, but your license will be automatically suspended for up to two years and you’ll receive six points on your record.

Sobriety tests, on the other hand, are not legally required and you can refuse these. The three most common tests are the “one leg stand” where you’ll be asked to balance on one foot, the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” where you’ll be asked to follow the movement of an object (like a pen) with only your eyes, and the “walk and turn” where an officer will watch you walk in a straight line, then pivot and turn around. All these tests can be unreliable predictors of impairment, especially if they’re improperly administered, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help contest these in court.

Possible Penalties

The penalties for DUI convictions will vary depending on the specifics of the incident and whether you have any prior convictions. Penalties include fines, jail time, community service, license suspension, and points added to your driving record. In addition, you will now have a criminal record which can affect your employment. In general, if you have a higher BAC (over .17%), the consequences will be more severe even if it’s only your first offense. In these cases, you’ll also be asked to complete an alcohol treatment program as well as install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Program

For drivers who wish to reduce the amount of time their license is suspended, they can file a petition with the Michigan Drivers Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). For some drivers with multiple convictions or who had a high BAC, an IID is mandatory. If your request is approved, you may be able to install an IID in your car after you’ve completed 30 days of your initial suspension and you’ll receive a restricted license.

DUI Defense Attorneys Serving Detroit, Michigan

Drunk driving penalties can be severe in Michigan, and you don’t want to risk your future by failing to take a DUI charge seriously. The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a local criminal defense attorney who will listen to your side of the story and examine all available evidence to advise you on your best line of defense. If you’re in the Detroit, Michigan area, reach out to us at Detroit Legal Group PLLC to get started.