MCL 257.625, Michigan's drunk driving statute, allows for up to 93 days in jail for first time offenders, and up to one year for second time offenders. As a practical matter, if this is your first alcohol and driving charge it is unlikely that you will face incarceration above and beyond the period immediately following your arrest. Even if you are convicted, the vast majority of first time defendants receive a term of probation rather than incarceration. However, there are a very few judges that have adopted a policy of incarcerating first time offenders. Obviously, your chances of jail time increase if you have prior alcohol and driving convictions.
For first time offenders, the most likely way to receive a term of incarceration is by failing to perform each and every task associated with a term of probation. Judges take a dim view of defendants who have been spared incarceration and then fail to satisfy thier probation requirements. Far and away, the single most common way to receive incarceration for a probation violation is by testing positive for alcohol and/or drugs.
Additionally, what actions you take after your arrest can make a significant impact upon the potential punishments you may face. Individuals who have been pulled over with particularly high BAC's (.15 or higher) may face a harsher penalty than those individuals whose BAC is just minimally above the legal limit of .08. Repeat offenders and high BAC defendants may want to involve themselves in rehabilitative programs as a demonstration of their seriousness. In general, judges are positively influenced by defendants who demonstrate an open and responsible attitude. Conversely, judges often frown upon high BAC defendants and repeat offenders who take little or no rehabilitative actions between the time of their arrest and sentencing.
Attorney Richard I. Lippitt can assist you during your Secretary of State hearing. Mr. Lippitt appears in Michigan courts over 350 times each year in defense of Michigan OWIs and in protection of driving privileges.
Mr. Lippitt stands ready to provide you with a free, no-obligation meeting regarding your Michigan OWI. Please contact us via the form on this page or call (248) 921-7164.