Most people that are charged with a DUI in Grand Rapids never meant to hurt anyone. They did not think they were too drunk to drive, and they fully believe they will get home safely. In other cases, a person faces DUI charges because of equipment, such as Breathalyzers, that are not properly calibrated or that are otherwise defective. In some of these cases, a person may perform roadside tests that are inaccurately analyzed by law enforcement officers, some that are just eager to make an arrest.
In any of these cases, the prosecution in Grand Rapids has proven that they will not show any understanding. They will prosecute these cases will their full force, which is why anyone charged must speak to a Grand Rapids DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
This is easily the most common DUI charge levied in Grand Rapids and throughout Michigan. To prove these cases the prosecution must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
For a first offense, an OWI charge is considered a misdemeanor. The associated penalties include up to 93 days in jail and up to 360 hours of community service. If convicted, you may also face fines up to $500 and several hundreds more in court costs. You will receive a ‘hard’ suspension of 30 days, which means you cannot drive at all, and your license will be restricted for up to 180 days.
This is also known as being ‘super drunk’ because it means that your BAC was 0.17 or higher, which is twice as much as the legal limit. Although this is still considered a misdemeanor, the penalties associated with this charge are much harsher.
Penalties for being super drunk include up to 180 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service, and fines as high as $700. The hard suspension of your license is extended to 45 days, and the time for a restricted license is extended to up to one year. During this one-year period, you are also required to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Many people in Grand Rapids are surprised to face OWI charges even when their BAC did not raise to the 0.08 allowed by the state. An operating while impaired charge is laid when a driver does not exceed the legal limit, but they are visibly impaired. This only means that a person drove with less ability than a reasonable driver, but the penalties are just as steep. The maximum 93 days in jail remains in place, as does the 360 hours of community service, although the fine is lowered to $300. There is no hard suspension of the driver’s license, but anyone convicted will have a restricted driver’s license for 90 days.
All DUI charges in Michigan are taken very seriously. In addition to the penalties for those convicted, you may also face difficulties obtaining employment, housing, and even loans. The only way to avoid these penalties is to get a solid defense provided by Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyers. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we can help if you have been charged with a DUI and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about how we can help with your case.