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MICHIGAN DRUNK DRIVING LAWS GENERAL TOPICS (Topics Expand)

Michigan drunk driving lawsMICHIGAN DRUNK DRIVING LAWS: A detailed analysis of Michigan's drunk driving statute, plus specific charges under Michigan drunk driving laws such as OWI 2nd, OWI 3rd, felony drunk driving, Zero Tolerance Laws, and OWI Child Endangerment.

Southfield Officer Running RadarTRAFFIC STOPS: When can Michigan police officers legally stop a vehicle? If a traffic stop is determined to be unlawful, all evidence stemming from the unlawful traffic stop may be suppressed under the Fourth Amendment.

Michigan Field Sobriety Tests under Michigan LawFIELD SOBRIETY TESTS: Under Michigan's drunk driving laws, police describe signs of alcohol consumption and employ field sobriety tests to establish probable cause. Learn more about the use of field sobriety tests in Michigan.

Lifeloc FC10 PBT Preliminary Breath Testing Device used in MichiganPRELIMINARY BREATH TEST (PBT): Michigan law requires a motorist to submit to a preliminary breath test if the police officer has "reasonable cause" to believe that the motorist may be at or above the legal limit. Learn more about PBTs.

Michigan BAC Datamaster and Datamaster DMTBAC DATAMASTER & DATAMASTER DMT: Learn about Michigan's breath testing machines, the rules and law regarding chemical tests, and breath testing procedures, including Michigan's new DMT Datamaster.

Michigan State Police Blood Toxicology and Blood TestingBLOOD TESTING: Blood tests are conducted by the Michigan State Police Toxicology Unit using the gas chromatography flame ionization detection method. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Take out the mystery and learn more about GC-FID.

Michigan driver license penalties for drunk drivingLICENSE RAMIFICATIONS: Under Michigan's drunk driving laws, a motorist can lose driving privileges before conviction for a chemical test refusal, or, upon conviction, face restricted driving privileges, a suspension or life-time revocation.

Michigan court procedures in drunk driving casesCOURT PROCEDURES: When to stand, where to sit, when to speak. Also includes descriptions of hearings including arraignment, pretrial, evidentiary hearing, bench trials, jury trial, pre-sentence investigations, probation and sentencing.

Viable defenses to a Michigan drunk driving charge under Michigan lawDRUNK DRIVING DEFENSES: Michigan drunk driving laws have procedural and substantive defenses. Procedurally, the police and prosecutor must follow certain rules. Substantively, medical conditions and scientific defenses can reveal artificially high breath and blood scores.

Hiring a Michigan drunk driving defense lawyerHIRING A DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYER: We are one of Michigan's leading drunk driving defense firms, but we have a lot of competition. We admire our competition, but this market has dumptrucks. How to select a good DUI lawyer.

Michigan drunk driving penaltiesMICHIGAN DRUNK DRIVING PENALTIES: Don't panic! In most jurisdictions, you are not going to go to jail. Unfortunately, that's not always true. Direct and collateral consequences of a Michigan drunk driving conviction.

Michigan drugged driving laws and Drug Recognition Experts (DREs)DRUGGED DRIVING: Michigan's drunk driving laws prohibit driving under the influence of a controlled substance, but drugged driving has suddenly gained more attention. Michigan has introduced "Drug Recognition Experts" (DREs).

Michigan's Any Amount Law - Marijuana and DrivingMICHIGAN'S "ANY AMOUNT" LAW: Michigan drunk driving laws prohibit driving with "any amount" of marijuana, a Schedule 1 drug (LSD, PCP, etc.), or cocaine, but Michigan's medical marijuana laws prohibit driving "under the influence."

MSP Trooper Writing Traffic TicketDRIVER RESPONSIBILITY FEES: The history of "driver responsibility fees" and how Michigan passed this ridiculous tax on motorists. How these fees impact your drunk driving case, and what the government can do if you do not pay.

Michigan drunk driving courtsMICHIGAN COURTS: A directory of all Michigan courts handling drunk driving cases, and details regarding the handling of drunk driving cases in certain counties. Includes links to detailed court information regarding specific courts.

Updated Police Department DirectoryMICHIGAN POLICE DEPARTMENTS: Updated state-wide police directory to all Michigan police departments handling drunk driving cases, with address, telephone and fax contact information. A convenient way to file FOIA requests!

QUICK FACTS: IF YOU HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH DRUNK DRIVING UNDER MICHIGAN'S DRUNK DRIVING LAWS . . .

As a first time offender (with no prior alcohol-related convictions whatsoever): Drivers accused of a first time drunk driving offense in Michigan usually face a difficult decision: pay a handsome fee to challenge the case or take a reduction, even if the client thinks he or she is actually innocent. If you are actually innocent, you probably will not know it, except that you did not feel overly intoxicated and you did not drink enough to justify a high breath score. This is a tough decision because you do not want to pay for elaborate defense, but you do not want to be burdened with a drunk driving conviction. In most jurisdictions (emphasis on most - beware of the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, the 52nd District Court in Rochester Hills, and a few other notorious courts), first time offenders do not face mandatory jail time. That said, however, many jurisdictions make a first time offense a nightmare as opposed to an expensive learning lesson. Many jurisdictions will run you ragged between AA meetings and chemical testing requirements at JAMS. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

As a repeat offender (OWI 2nd): Many clients face the dilemma of sobriety court or a permanent, life-time loss of driving privileges. What? Life-time loss of license?!? Yes. Absolutely. But there are ways around it, so don't panic. That said, however, some particularly nasty jurisdictions might impose a jail sentence of six months, where the client actually does go to jail for six months. If you thought a first offense was bad, imagine going to jail for six months! It actually does happen, unfortunately. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

As a third time offender (OWI 3rd), or other felony drunk driving charge (injury, death, etc.): The sad fact is that the government has a giant hammer hanging over your head. Whether or not you are guilty, can you risk going to trial? And can you afford to go to trial? OWI 3rd cases now require a minimum of 30 days in jail, and probation lasts for upwards of five years. Injury cases can result in up to five years in prison, while death cases can extend to a decade and a half. We have taken these cases to jury trial and received not guilty verdict from the jury! But in felony drunk driving cases, the prosecutor can always offer a deal that makes the jury's not guilty verdict seem too risky. These are expenses cases where you risk years, as opposed to days, so there is plenty of room to worry on these types of cases. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

With children in the car: If you are accused of driving drunk with children in the car, the potential penalties increase, but a first time offender still faces minimum sanctions. There may be a brief jail sentence based upon the statutory language, but many courts impose probation in lieu of jail. If the driver has a prior alcohol-related conviction, however, a child endangerment charge may constitute a felony, in which case there is some serious room for concern and worry. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

As a minor under 21 with alcohol in my system: Most minors cannot afford a lawyer. As a minor, you are probably more worried about telling your parents. There is a little flexibility with these cases on low breath/blood alcohol content cases, and the charge carries no jail whatsoever. However, a minor BAC charge constitutes a prior-alcohol offense, so a subsequent OWI at the age of 23 might very well qualify as an OWI 2nd and result in life-time revocation of a driver's license. If you can avoid a conviction for zero tolerance drunk driving under Michigan law, it is worth hiring a lawyer to explore defenses. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

After smoking weed: If you have a medical marijuana card, the prosecutor must prove that you were "under the influence." However, you must be mindful that marijuana is not like alcohol (where people can say intuitively "that's drunk" and "that's not drunk"), and it's not like prescription medication, where jurors look to see if the person took too many pills. In marijuana cases, jurors are automatically predisposed to convict because they do not trust marijuana smokers, so these cases can be difficult to win, even if the client is actually innocent. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

But I really was not drunk at all but no one believes me: This happens more frequently than most people want to admit. Breath testing is circumstantial evidence of intoxication, but police officers place 110% of their confidence in these gizmos. It is a proven fact that a certain percentage of people can drink two beers and blow outrageously high numbers. A few days ago, we were contacted by a person who blew a 0.27 on a PBT (ten points higher than Michigan's superdrunk drunk driving law) but blew a 0.07 on a different machine within a half hour, below the legal limit. We had yet another that blew a 0.17 (right at the limit for superdrunk) and then proceeded to provide a 0.02 on a different machine. Call the Maze Legal Group PC at (888) 941-1122 if you have additional questions.

About me: My name is William Maze. Think Willy Mays, the famous baseball player, or Billy Mays, the outrageous fellow who sold you buckets of Oxyclean, so you'll never forget my name. But it's M A Z E! I am a licensed Michigan attorney, and I focus on drunk driving defense. I have been in practice for almost 20 years, and I am qualified as an expert witness in breath testing and field sobriety testing. I have a ton of specialized knowledge in this field because I have traveled across the country going to special classes and seminars. I have testified as a neutral expert on drunk driving cases on several occasions, but I am primarily a defense attorney. I am also a nationally published author in drunk driving defense, with a full-length treatise on drunk driving nearly completed and ready for the publisher. I realized for many years that Michigan's drunk driving laws were far too complex for the average person to comprehend in a moment of crisis, so I set out to create this website. After more than a decade and a half, there's still more that I can learn, even though I am frequently invited to lecture on matters pertaining to drunk driving laws across Michigan and in other states. As a defense lawyer, I have vindicated innocent clients, gotten guilty clients off, and had a few clients die while struggling with addiction problems. I take my job very seriously because I know that a Michigan drunk driving charge is serious. This page, however, is not about me. This website has been dedicated for several years to teaching. It is my hope that you can learn something about drunk driving from this page. If you have a suggestion, please feel free to email me or call me at my office. I will very likely add your recommended section.