Drunk Driving

Aggressive Representation for All Misdemeanor & Felony Drunk Driving Cases

If you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony drunk driving offense (OWI, High BAC), or driving under the influence of drugs (OUID), the ABDO LAW firm will manage your case and help you regain your sanity. It just takes one phone call to get answers to your pressing questions and a same day appointment with attorneys that specialize in drunk driving.

Phone: 586-412-5555 - Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

The ABDO LAW firm defends first time or repeat drunk driving offenders in all district and circuit courts within Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair County. Our attorneys will take swift action to get your case under control to facilitate the best course of action and favorable result in every aspect of a Michigan drunk driving case. Michigan laws that pertain to drunk driving and driving under the influence include: OWI first, OWI second, OWI third (felony), Super Drunk (operating with a high BAC .17% or more), chemical test refusals (implied consent appeals), OUID/operating under the influence of drugs (illegal drugs, prescribed drugs and marijuana), child endangerment and offenses which involve an injury or death.

Drunk Driving Criminal and License Penalties

The abbreviations OUIL, DUI and OWI are used interchangeably when referring to the offense of drunk driving. In Michigan, the offense of drunk driving is really known as “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). Operating a vehicle under the influence or with the presence of drugs is abbreviated as OWPD or OUID. Operating under the influence of drugs includes medical marijuana, illegal street drugs (heroin, cocaine, ecstasy) and prescription drugs (analogues, anti-depressants, pain medications, prescribed drugs for psychological disorders). Felony drunk driving charges may be prosecuted when the offender is charged with third lifetime offense or in cases involving an injury or death.

Maximum Jail and License Action for Driving Under the Influence
OffenseMaximum JailLicense Action
OWI Causing Death15 years*Indefinite revocation
OWI Causing Serious Injury5 years*Indefinite revocation
First Offense OWI or OWPD93 days30 days suspended, 150 days restricted
Second Offense within 7 years1 year*Indefinite revocation
Third Lifetime Offense1-5 years*Indefinite revocation
OWI with Child under age 16180 days90 days suspended, 90 days restricted
Super Drunk (.17% or greater)180 days45 days suspended, 325 days restricted
Impaired Driving93 days90 days restricted
Under 21 with .02% - .07%90 days30 days restricted

*Indefinite revocations: Indefinite revocations are for a minimum period of one (1) year before a person is entitled to a hearing before the Driver Appeal and Assessment Division to obtain driving privileges. Additional periods of revocation are imposed when a person obtains other tickets while driving on a suspended or revoked license. The person requesting a license will be required to meet the strict burden of proof at the Driver Appeal and Assessment Division hearing before any driving privileges will be restored. For more information about ABDO LAW driver license restoration legal services.

Secretary of State website with list of drinking and driving offenses and penalties

Drunk Driving Costs

ABDO LAW provides information that others in the legal community avoid. We believe in transparency and that our clients should better informed and know all the consequences of a criminal case. A person convicted of any drunk driving or driving under the influence will face substantial financial liability. The following is an approximate list of court fines and costs, State of Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees and other related expenses associated with a drinking and driving conviction:

SanctionApproximate Cost
Court Fines and costs$1,000.00 to $2,000.00
Michigan Driver Responsibility fees$500.00 to $1,000.00 per year for 2 years
Court Ordered Substance Abuse Assessment$150.00
Discovery of police report and DVD$100.00 and up
Police/Municipal/Arrest Costs$300.00 to $600.00
Vehicle towing and impound$200.00
Substance abuse programDependent upon length and type of program
Vehicle insurance premiumsHigher premiums for up to 5 years
Vehicle immobilizationMonthly fees paid to independent provider
License reinstatement$125.00 paid to Secretary of State
Possible ignition interlockMonthly fees paid to independent provider
Possible random testing$5.00 to $10.00 per test for period of probation
Probation oversight expenses$0.0 to $50.00 per month for period of probation
Restitution to victimsCourt ordered for injuries and/or property damage
Restitution: Drunk Driving Accidents Involving Personal Injuries or Property Damage

Typically, a person involved in a motor vehicle accident is protected from personal liability to the extent of insurance coverage. However, some insurance policies contain criminal acts exclusions that exclude coverage for any claim arising out of a criminal act. Other policies may deny any coverage only when a criminal act was committed with intent to cause harm. Should the insurance coverage of a party convicted of drunk driving be denied or insufficient to satisfy the victim’s claim, the court may order payment of restitution to any victims arising out of the conduct of the drunk driver. Thus, a person convicted of drunk driving could be held personally liable to pay massive amounts of money when a victim claims serious person injuries, medical expenses, lost wages or *property damage. A person is entitled to a restitution hearing when the issue of restitution is contested.

*The cost to replace an electric pole or mature tree could easily reach $5,000.00.

Felony Drunk Driving: Any Three Lifetime Drinking and Driving Cases Count!

Pursuant to Michigan law, a person with three (3) or more lifetime driving under the influence offenses can be charged with a felony. Lifetime offenses that can be used to support a felony charge include out of state convictions, impaired driving and zero tolerance (under age 21 with any BAC). The use of all lifetime offenses to charge an individual with a felony is known as Heidi’s Law which was passed in Michigan in 2007. The law has been attacked on several grounds in Michigan Courts. Unfortunately, this law has been upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals despite opposition by the ABDO LAW firm and members of the criminal defense bar.

Felony drunk driving carries a maximum penalty of 1 to 5 years in prison. The ABDO LAW firm has an impressive record of managing felony drunk driving cases to avoid harsh sentencing, severe jail sanctions and by providing an aggressive defense to secure favorable plea bargains such as reduction of a felony drunk driving to a misdemeanor.

Substance Abuse/Alcohol Problems, High Blood Alcohol Content or Past Record

The ABDO LAW firm may proactively recommend a substance abuse program in the early stages of our cases involving an alcohol or drug crime. Invariable, we will do so in cases when our clients are struggling with substance abuse or alcohol problems, have a criminal history of prior drug or alcohol crimes or in cases such as super drunk and drunk driving involving death or injury. These efforts usually pay off by getting less probation monitoring, shorter periods of probation, avoiding jail and avoiding court ordered programs that are not always a good fit. In addition, our firm may utilize independent substance abuse evaluations to obtain favorable plea bargains or deviation requests (reduction to non-criminal offenses).

ABDO LAW believes that Judges are always impressed by those that take charge of a problem without being court ordered to do so. Therefore, we always prefer to have a plan without placing the burden upon the court and probation department.

We Fight For Your Rights, Dismissals & Reductions

For more than 35 years, the ABDO LAW firm has successfully defended Michigan drunk driving cases. It is our job to turn things around and set the record straight. We know that the police may randomly stop a vehicle after the bars close taking a chance that they might encounter a drunk driver. When we suspect that the traffic stop was without probable cause, we order the in-car video and file a motion to dismiss when the evidence does not add up. By exposing a weak or marginal DUI case, we improve our ability to negotiate with the prosecutor for a dismissal or reduction in the charges. There are numerous strategies to attack a drunk driving case:

  • Illegal traffic stop or without probable cause
  • 911 witness is not identified (anonymous)
  • Police videos do not support traffic stop or intoxication
  • Field Sobriety Tests (FST) do not support intoxication
  • Police lack credibility, inconsistencies in the police report
  • Failure to follow administrative testing procedures
  • Witnesses support defendant’s sobriety or lack of alcohol consumption
  • Faulty blood or breath test procedure or equipment
  • Innocent explanation for signs of intoxication
  • Loss or destruction of evidence, video or test results
  • Due process violation for failure to prosecute within a reasonable time
  • Inability to produce vital witness for trial or hearing
  • Marijuana cases: THC levels that are low and does not suggest impairment
  • Prescribed medications that did not cause impairment
  • Independent test results which favor defense position

If you have been arrested for any Michigan drinking and driving offense, let the attorneys at ABDO LAW provide you with the highest level of legal representation to get your case under control, protect your rights and advocate on your behalf. We are well known in Michigan courts and our Macomb County defense lawyers have the reputation and expertise to defend you from getting hit with severe drunk driving penalties. Although it is the rare exception, we have been able to have several drunk driving charges dropped or reduced to a non-criminal offense. An outcome of this nature is dependent upon several variables including prior criminal history, cooperation with the police and whether or not an injury or property damage accident occurred. We can also efficiently assist nonresidents and Canadian citizens who face a criminal or drunk driving offenses in Michigan.

Call the ABDO LAW FIRM 24 Hours Phone: 586-412-5555
Toll Free: 844-Got-Abdo

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Michigan Criminal Lawyer Blog - Drunk Driving