DUI Defense Attorney in Birmingham, Michigan
Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) – also known as OWI (operating while impaired) in Michigan – can have serious and life-altering consequences. If you are facing DUI/OWI charges in Birmingham, Michigan, or surrounding areas, contact Daniel J. Larin, P.C., for reliable legal assistance.
Our DUI defense attorney in Birmingham, Michigan, provides unparalleled and valuable legal guidance through each step of the legal process. We also serve clients in Rochester Hills and other parts of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties.
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DUI Charges in Michigan
Many people refer to drunk driving charges as DUI. However, the State of Michigan uses another term: operating while intoxicated (OWI). DUI and OWI are used interchangeably and refer to the same criminal charge.
According to the official website of the State of Michigan, OWI charges apply when a person is operating a motor vehicle or watercraft with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater. For drivers under 21 years of age, the legal limit for BAC is reduced to .02%. BAC is determined using chemical testing, which includes blood, breath, and urine tests. Michigan law also recognizes two separate OWI-related criminal charges:
OWVI (operating while visibly impaired): you can be arrested for OWVI if you are not capable of operating a vehicle safely regardless of your BAC level; and
OWPD (operating with the presence of drugs): you can be arrested for OWPD if your ability to operate a vehicle safely is affected by illegal narcotic drugs.
Contrary to popular belief, drivers can face OWI charges in Michigan even if they were not seen driving their vehicle. Under Michigan law, you can face drunk driving charges for merely having “physical control” of the vehicle (e.g., sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition).
Sobriety Tests vs. Chemical Tests and Your Rights
Police officers commonly use field sobriety tests to determine a driver’s level of impairment. However, field sobriety tests (FSTs) are strictly voluntary under Michigan law, which means you have a right to refuse to take an FST without facing penalties.
The same cannot be said about chemical tests. Under Michigan’s implied consent law, you can face penalties for refusing to submit to chemical testing. If the police officer has sufficient cause to ask you to take a chemical test but you refuse it, you can face the following penalties:
six points will be added to your driving record (if you accumulate 12 points within two years, your license will be revoked); and
your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 12 months.
If your license is suspended or revoked due to an OWI conviction or accumulating 12 points, contact a license restoration attorney to get help in regaining your driving privileges.
Do not try to handle your DUI/OWI charges on your own, because the penalties associated with a conviction can be severe. Possible penalties include:
license suspension or revocation
points added on your record
loss of employment
higher auto insurance premiums
immigration consequences, including deportation
As you can see, the consequences for DUI/OWI in Michigan are not limited to possible incarceration and fines. Some of the consequences can affect you for years or even the rest of your life (e.g., a permanent criminal record).
Our DUI/OWI defense attorney at Daniel J. Larin, P.C., understands that drunk driving charges can throw your life into a tailspin. That is why we are committed to fighting for each and every client we represent. Our attorney has decades of court experience advocating for the rights of his clients and minimizing the impact of DUI/OWI on their future.
Defenses to DUI Charges
When facing DUI/OWI charges, there are several defenses your attorney may use to challenge the evidence and potentially reduce or dismiss the charges:
Inaccurate or unreliable breathalyzer or blood test results. In Michigan, DUI charges are often based on the results of a breathalyzer or blood test. However, these tests can be prone to errors and inaccuracies due to faulty equipment, improper testing procedures, or medical conditions that may have affected the results.
Lack of probable cause. In order for police to pull you over and administer a breathalyzer or blood test, they must have probable cause to suspect that you are driving under the influence.
Field sobriety test errors. Field sobriety tests are subjective and can be influenced by a number of factors, including fatigue, nerves, and physical or medical conditions.
Rising blood alcohol content. The body metabolizes alcohol over time, meaning that a person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) may continue to rise even after they have stopped drinking. If you were stopped shortly after consuming alcohol, your BAC may have been below the legal limit at the time of driving but above the limit at the time of the test.
Improper police procedures. Police officers must follow specific procedures when administering breathalyzer tests, collecting evidence, and making arrests. If the police did not follow these procedures properly, or if they violated your rights in some other way, your attorney may be able to challenge the evidence and potentially get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Reach out to our DUI/OWI defense attorney at Daniel J. Larin, P.C., so that we can evaluate the facts of your case and help you determine the strongest defense for you.
DUI Defense Attorney Serving Birmingham, Michigan
When facing DUI or OWI charges, you need a skilled defense attorney in your corner to ensure that your rights are protected. Our DUI defense attorney in Birmingham, Michigan, can assist you with all aspects of your case. Reach out to Daniel J. Larin, P.C., today to schedule a free consultation. y