Frequently Asked Questions About Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving - DUI attorney David J. Kramer

During the holidays, police departments across the nation tend to increase patrols on the roads to ensure safe travels for all citizens. As a result, more and more people find themselves facing charges or just having questions related to drinking and driving during this time of year.

If you are reading this, however, you are or your loved one is likely facing a drunk driving charge In Michigan. This charge is called OWI – Operating While Intoxicated.

You may be asking yourself,

  • Will I go to jail if convicted of drunk driving?
  • Will I lose my driver’s license?
  • Can I refuse a urine sample or breathalyzer test?

Please remember that the answers to the questions that we are discussing today are general. Each person and every situation is different.

If you have any questions about your specific situation, please contact me.

Drinking and Driving FAQs

Will I go to jail if convicted of drunk driving?

The first thing everyone who is convicted of a DUI/OWI for the first time wants to know is, “will I go to jail?”

For a first-time offender, the answer is almost always no. The system is designed to make a first-time OWI offense very expensive and very inconvenient, but not to make you serve jail time.

Will I lose my driver’s license?

The short answer is that you will probably face driving restrictions during the time you are on probation if you are convicted of OWI.

However, no, you will not automatically lose your license. The longer answer is that you could lose your license if you refuse or fail blood and urine samples.

Once you’re at a subsequent OWI charge, it’s almost a certainty your license will be suspended.

Do I have to take the breathalyzer test?

It depends on what you mean by a breathalyzer test. However, even if you do lose your license, we can work to get it back.

There are two different types of breathalyzer tests:

  • The Preliminary Breath Test, or PBT – which is a portable unit police officers use to determine probable cause to arrest you for OWI on the roadside.
  • The machine used at the police department.

Refusal to take the first one may not result in immediate suspension of your license. However, the refusal of the second test will.

Test compliance is an essential requirement for bond (or bail, which you want so you can get back to work and move on with your life) and for probation (which you also want, so you don’t end up serving that 93-day jail sentence).

There are two things to keep in mind here: the score on the roadside test is not used in court, but it’s reasonably accurate. The score you get at the police station can be wrong. However, this score is also relied-upon heavily in court, and you could waste a lot of money contesting those results.

Of course, there are always discrepancies, and every case is different.  

How long will my OWI conviction be on my record?

The DUI will be on your record for life. While the first two DUI convictions are misdemeanors, the third is considered a felony.

This is another reason why you need to equip yourself with an excellent attorney. Favorable results on your OWI case only come with hard work and attention to detail, and this is why you need someone working for you.

Could I have my OWI conviction expunged?

Let me start by explaining what expungement means. Expungement is the process of removing your criminal record. The American Bar Association defines expungement as:

 “The process by which a record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from state or federal record.”

Unfortunately, once convicted of an OWI, you cannot get the conviction expunged.

Michigan DUI Attorney

During the holidays, many celebrations include alcohol consumption, and police patrols are increased to ensure roads are safe.

In addition to that, DUI/OWI cases generate a lot of revenue for the state, and they are designed to convince you never to do anything that would put you at risk of going through it again.

If you are facing an OWI for drinking and driving, please call my office. This is a critical charge that you do not want to face alone.

Let’s get started!

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