Frequenty Asked Question about Macomb County Drunk Driving Law
Our Macomb County lawyers have helped hundreds of clients in Mt. Clemens with their DUI, OWI and drunk driving case. In this article we answer some Frequently Asked Questions about drunk driving charges in Macomb County.
What are the different drunk driving crimes in Macomb County?
Drunk driving or “DUI” laws are the same across the entire state of Michigan. Prosecutors anywhere in Michigan, including Macomb County, may charge an individual with one of three different “drunk driving” offenses (OWI, UBAC/UBAL, and OWVI); and/or a “drugged driving” charge (OWPD).
Additionally, special charges may be brought that have stiffer penalties, depending upon the circumstances. These special charges include: OWI Causing Serious Injury or Death; or OWI with Children Present.
What is the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in Macomb County?
Many people are surprised to learn that they can be charged with drunk driving even if they are below Michigan’s legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08%.
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is charged, and your ability to drive safely is affected by alcohol.
However, you can still be charged with Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is below the legal limit of 0.08%, if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely. Usually this determination is made by either a field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of your driving.
Additionally, you can be charged with Operating With Any Presence of Drugs (OWPD) if any Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (even a trace) is found in your blood. You do NOT have to be impaired to be charged with OWPD.
So even if I pass the Breathalyzer, I can still be charged with drunk driving?
Unfortunately, passing a breathalyzer test does not automatically mean that you are home free. Remember that Michigan’s Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law means you can still be charged even if you do NOT have a BAC of 0.08 – if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely.
However, you cannot be arrested for drunk driving unless a police officer has “probable cause” to think you are drunk driving – which basically means “good reason” to believe you are impaired. But erratic driving, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, or empty containers are typically considered sufficient for the police to have enough “probable cause” to charge you with OWVI – even if when you have passed a breathalyzer test.
What does Drunk Driving “Zero Tolerance” mean?
Michigan’s Zero Tolerance Law applies to drivers under 21 years old who buy, have in their possession, or consume alcohol. If a minor is found with any alcohol in a vehicle – even unopened, and/or even while parked – they can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Minors with a BAC of 0.02% or greater, will also be arrested under the Zero Tolerance laws, and they face 4 points on their license if found guilty.
What Happens if I Refused a Breathalyzer Test?
In Macomb County and all of Michigan an “implied consent law” is in place. This means that by driving any vehicle you automatically agree to take a breathalyzer test if stopped by the police.
Therefore, if a person is arrested on any drunk driving charge, and they refuse to take a Breathalyzer Test, their license will be automatically suspended for 1 year and 6 points will be added to their driving record.
Further, refusing to take a Breathalyzer Test twice within any seven year period will result in a two year drivers’ license suspension.
Our Affordable Macomb County Drunk Driving Lawyers Can Help
If you are facing a Super Drunk Driving charge in Macomb County, you cannot afford to go without an experienced lawyer. Justin Vande Vrede cares about his clients and provides immediate and aggressive defense to anyone facing a Super Drunk charge in Macomb County. He has been able to reduce or avoid Super Drunk driving convictions for many clients who have had a BAC in excess of .17% – saving them the embarrassment and expense of a Super Drunk Driving conviction – and in many cases also saving their jobs.
If you are being charged with any Michigan OWI, OWVI or “DUI” – including Super Drunk Driving – call experienced Macomb County lawyer Justin Vande Vrede today to understand your options and get the best possible results.