Peterson Paletta Balice

5 Debunked Myths About Drunk Driving in Michigan

Grand Rapids & Ionia Attorneys

Drunk Driving Attorneys Ionia Grand Rapids MI

You depend on your vehicle to drive to work, run errands, or pick up the kids from school. But a drunk driving charge could stop all that in its tracks. That’s why we recommend hiring one of our drunk driving attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia, MI, to help you receive the best outcome for your case.

Michigan uses the term OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) when talking about drunk driving. Although, you may be more familiar with the acronym DUI (Driving Under the Influence).

Here’s what you need to know about drunk driving offenses in Michigan.

Myth #1: All OWI Cases are the Same

The court will use the facts of your case to determine fines, jail time, and community service. For example, you may have more severe consequences if you drove drunk with a child in the backseat.

You should especially seek the help of our OWI attorneys if you:

  • Have prior OWI convictions
  • Are younger than legal drinking age
  • Had passenger(s) in the car under 16 years of age
  • Caused property damage
  • Caused physical injury or death
  • Had a BAC of 0.17% or higher

Since so many factors affect your fate, it’s important that you hire an OWI lawyer as soon as possible. Our drunk driving attorneys will make sure you understand what to expect and how to prepare.

Myth #2: You Won’t Get Arrested if You’re Below the Legal Limit

It’s easier for the prosecution to build their case if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was 0.08% or higher. But the arresting officer can still testify that they witnessed drunk driving behaviors, even if you were below the legal limit.

For example, they may have seen you weaving in traffic or heard you slur your words. Both of these actions may help to prove that you were too intoxicated to drive.

Related: What Happens if You Get Pulled Over for DUI? →

Myth #3: You Should Always Refuse the Breathalyzer

If you showed obvious signs of being drunk behind the wheel, an officer can request a warrant to get a blood test. A blood test is more accurate than a breathalyzer and will stand up in court when introduced as evidence.

Does this describe your situation? If so, don’t hesitate to hire our OWI attorneys as soon as possible to represent your case.

Myth #4: Buzzed Driving ≠ Drunk Driving

If you feel any effects from alcohol, you’re better off calling a cab or getting a ride with a sober friend. While having one or two drinks may not put you over the legal limit, it can reduce your reaction time while driving.

Short of taking a breathalyzer, it can also be hard to determine if you’ve had too much to drink. Don’t risk your life, the lives of others, and your driving privileges if you’re unsure.

Paying money for a cab is much less expensive than what you’ll have to pay in fines for drunk driving. Also, keep in mind that an OWI could land you time behind bars or doing community service. Both of which would take more time than collecting your car from the bar parking lot once you’re sober.

Myth #5: Your First OWI Conviction Isn’t a Big Deal

You should always take any drunk driving conviction seriously, especially if it’s your first. While the court could see one OWI as a lapse of judgment, any OWIs that follow show a pattern of substance abuse.

Our OWI attorneys can help you navigate the legal system so you can get the best outcome for your case.

In general, you can expect any of the following consequences for a first-time OWI:

BAC Between 0.08% and 0.16% BAC of 0.17% or Higher
93 days in jail Up to 180 days in jail
Fine between $100 and $500 Fine between $200 and $700
Up to 360 hours of community service Up to 360 hours of community service

Request a Legal Consultation for OWI

Our drunk driving attorneys in Grand Rapids and Ionia, MI, are ready to take on your case! Call Peterson Paletta Balice to request a legal consultation. You may also fill out our online contact form to get started.

This blog post has been updated.

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