When I get phone calls regarding driving under the influence cases there are common questions I’m always asked. I’ll try to answer some of those common questions here.
Will I receive Drug or Alcohol Testing When I first go to Court?
It is common for people charged with a DUI to receive some form of drug or alcohol testing when they first go to court. Although everyone is presumed innocent, there is a court rule that allows the judge to impose requirements called bond conditions. Those bond conditions can include testing for drugs or alcohol.
Each court is different. Some courts will require a person to submit to an alcohol test every single day prior to resolution of the case. Other courts may require a person to submit to one test, called a baseline test. Passing the test with a negative result may end all further testing requirements. If the test reveals drugs or alcohol the person may be required to undergo further testing.
Will I Still Be Able to Drive?
While the case is pending you are still able to drive with a full license. What likely happened, is the police officer confiscated your license, destroyed the license, and then provided you with a paper license. That paper license gives you the ability to continue driving. A DUI conviction may result in additional license sanctions.
However, it is important to note that a refusal of a breath or blood test (chemical test) can result in an implied consent suspension. You have 14 days from the day of refusal to request an implied consent hearing from the Michigan Secretary of State. The officer will have provided you with paperwork that you can fill out to request the hearing. Or you can hire an attorney to request the hearing for you. Either way, it is important to take immediate action when there has been an implied consent refusal. Failure to schedule the hearing will result in an automatic one-year license suspension, which can only be undone with a hardship appeal in circuit court.
Am I Going To Jail?
The majority of judges do not put someone in jail for a first-offense OWI without compelling circumstances. However, there are judges who sentence people to jail for first-offense OWIs – it just depends on who the judge is. Also, a bond condition violation or a probation violation could result in a person being sentenced to jail. And of course, all OWIs as with any misdemeanor could be punishable by jail time.
Your main concern with a first-offense OWI is generally not jail time. More immediate concerns are how a conviction will effect employment, driver’s license, or professional license such as for health care.
Is My Life Over?
I get asked this very serious question on quite a few calls. No, your life is not over. An OWI charge is a common situation, from the person who had made a mistake and had one too many beers at the bar to the serious alcoholic. Anyone could receive an OWI charge, regardless of socioeconomic class or race. Although dealing with OWI charge is certainly not fun and can be stressful, we will get you through the experience in one piece.
Sam Bernstein is an OWI Attorney in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Wasthenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108
- The Drunk Driving Statute
- What to do After a DWI Arrest
- What Happens in a DWI Case?
- What to do When Pulled Over for a DWI
ArborYpsi Law’s Criminal Defense Practice
At ArborYpsi Law we specialize in criminal defense work. That’s all we do. Criminal defense is not one of many practice areas for us – our firm is dedicated to this sole practice.
We are located in Washtenaw County, across the street from the 14A-1 District Court. However, in the last year we have represented clients on OWI cases from Novi to Jackson to Westland, and many points in between.
Whether your DUI is for alcohol or tranquilizers or huffing inhalants, we can help. Call for a free initial consultation, where we explain the law, your options, and the court process.
Call 734-883-9584 for an Ann Arbor OWI Attorney