Bowden Law, PLLC
Common Michigan DUI/OWI Myths Explained
There are numerous myths surrounding Michigan DUI/OWI laws and what people should do if arrested. Here, we clarify and explain common misconceptions that clients often have about their cases. Remember, if in doubt about how to proceed with your DUI charge, always consult an attorney.
Myth #1: I tested below the legal BAC limit, so I will not be charged.
Technically, you can still be charged if you have any amount of alcohol in your body. Every individual metabolizes alcohol differently, so a prosecutor could argue that you were still impaired while driving even if you blew a BAC below the legal limit. Although you may face less punishment, you may still be facing charges.
Myth #2: I have to plead guilty, there's no way to beat a DUI charge.
There are ways to effectively challenge evidence, negotiate a lesser charge, get it dismissed entirely, or even take it to court for a not guilty verdict. This all depends on the facts of your case and how skilled your attorney is. No matter how complex a DUI case is, there are ways to obtain a good outcome.
Myth #3: If I am convicted of DUI, I can expunge it.
WRONG. In Michigan, traffic offenses cannot be expunged. This includes DUI and OWI convictions. Once you are convicted, you are stuck with it for life. This is why it is so important to fight your charges with an experienced lawyer.
Myth #4: I refused to take the breathalyzer. Since there's no evidence, the police can't charge me.
Police officers have other ways of obtaining evidence against a person. They can request a warrant to obtain a blood test if you display visible signs of driving while intoxicated.
The other issue here is that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, you will automatically lose your driver's license. It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney early on in a case before making such decisions.
Myth #5: This is my first DUI offense, the courts will go easy on me.
Even first-time DUI offenders can face harsh penalties. Never assume that judges and prosecutors will be lenient on you even if you have no prior criminal history or record. We have seen prosecutors and judges getting tougher and tougher on first-time offenders.
Myth #6: My DUI was for prescription medicine, so I will be fine.
Law enforcement officials view drugged driving – including prescription drugs – as a serious offense. Prescription medication can have the same effects as alcohol, causing drowsiness and impaired visual/motor skills. You may still be facing criminal and civil penalties if charged with OUID or OWI.
Myth #7: Employers don't really care about DUI convictions on your record.
This varies depending on the employer. While we can't speak for every employer, there are certain occupations that will require a clean driving record. If you have a DUI conviction on your record, you will most likely be excluded from jobs involving driving company vehicles or delivery vehicles.
Myth #8: I can beat this charge on my own.
You can certainly try, but it is highly unlikely you will be able to obtain a satisfactory outcome. How well do you know Michigan DUI/OWI laws? Can you skillfully analyze the facts of a case and prepare a convincing defense? Do you have experience speaking to judges, cross-examining witnesses, and navigating administrative hearings?
Attorneys have to undergo years of textbook and hands-on training so that we understand the law and how to apply it to each client's unique case. We recommend that you hire an experienced attorney who has a successful track record.
Experienced DUI Defender on Your Side
If you have been arrested for DUI/OWI in Michigan, Attorney James T. Bowden has the experience you need. Our Macomb County OWI lawyer can guide you through the criminal process and navigate the administrative driver's license hearings to restore your driving privileges.