Every state has different penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and these sanctions have become even more severe in recent years. Michigan has its own laws that should be learned by all drivers to help them stay safe and avoid criminal charges.

Woman with poor driving history reports to Clinton County Jail

A woman with prior motor vehicle offenses from DeWitt Michigan is required to turn herself into Clinton County Jail. The new drunk driving offense violated her probation from the prior case.

The woman was on probation for a distracted driving offense where she was charged with a misdemeanor for her previous involvement in a fatal crash with a cyclist in 2015. She was apparently using her cellphone while driving when that accident occurred. The new charges resulted in a guilty plea to operating while intoxicated and having open containers in her vehicle.

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Drunk driving penalties in Michigan

As drunk driving has become the focus of national attention in the last couple of decades, most states have certain mandatory penalties associated with the offense. Michigan law requires all drivers to submit to a chemical test if they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A refusal of this test will either add six points to your driving record or automatically suspend driving privileges for one year. Some repeat offenders will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle to make sure it cannot be driven if any alcohol is detected on their breath.

As a general rule, all drivers charged with any kind of drunk driving offense will face jail time and lose their driving privileges. This can have severe consequences on a person’s ability to obtain and keep employment as well as on their future ability to drive. A prosecutor can recommend that someone with multiple drunk driving offenses lose their driving privileges permanently.

Additional points and enhancements

Drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration of .17 or higher will face additional penalties for being excessively drunk while driving. Any amount of cocaine or other substances listed by state law which are found in someone’s blood will also automatically be grounds for a criminal charge.

Why a lawyer is necessary

Because of the severity of these penalties and the possibility of not being able to drive for a long time, drunk driving charges should be taken more seriously than ever. One of the best ways to get help after this life changing event is to retain the services of an attorney who knows the local drunk driving laws and has experience helping people handle their cases.

A related issue is that others who are injured by the actions of a drunk driver, can file a civil lawsuit which attempts to make the driver pay for the victim’s medical bills and other expenses. Lawyers can assist in defending these cases as well.

Get help from an attorney in your area

If you have been charged with crimes related to driving under the influence in Clinton County, DeWitt, or anywhere nearby in the state of Michigan, there is help available. A lawyer who specializes in defending drunk driving cases can make sure your situation is handled properly.

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