Criminal Defense Attorneys
Flint, Michigan

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Can I Get Charged With DUI in Michigan If I Blow Under the Legal Limit?

Man in driver's seat of car blowing into breathalyzer to test for DUI.

Understanding Michigan's DUI laws

In Michigan, the consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe and long-lasting. From fines to sentences, the repercussions can haunt an individual for years to come. If a motorist's blood alcohol content (BAC) is found to be .08 or higher, they will face charges for DUI. However, what may come as a surprise to some, is that even if a motorist's BAC is lower than .08, they may still face DUI charges.

Michigan impaired driving laws

Like most states, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for motorists is set at .08. However, even the presence of any amount of alcohol in a driver's system can result in a DUI charge. In Michigan, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances with impairment effects.
  • Impaired by alcohol, drugs, or other substances with impairment effects.
  • With a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.
  • With a BAC of .02 or higher if under the age of 21.
  • With a Schedule 1 controlled substance (cocaine) in your system.

Police officers are trained to identify signs of drug or alcohol impairment without the help of a breathalyzer, such as erratic driving patterns, swerving, excessive speed, or slow movements.

What if my BAC is lower than the legal limit?

Drivers may face charges for DUI even if their blood alcohol content (BAC) falls below the legal limit of .08. Police may pursue charges for impaired driving or may still pursue for DUI charges if they believe the driver is under the influence regardless of the person’s BAC. Some common signs of DUI that police look for include:

  • Failing field sobriety tests
  • Slurred speech
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Swaying
  • Stumbling
  • Flushed face
  • Fumbling with license and registration
  • Stumbling over words when answering questions

Consequences of a DUI conviction

The penalties for a DUI conviction differ from each state and become harsher depending on the offense. Michigan is a zero-tolerance state when it comes to impaired driving. The state has a "high-BAC" law that allows penalties to anyone driving under the influence with a BAC of .17.

For someone facing their first offense with a BAC of .17 or lower they can face:

  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • A suspended license for up to 180 days
  • 6 points on their driver's license

A first offense and a BAC higher than .17, a driver will be faced with:

  • Up to $700 in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • A suspended license for up to 1 year
  • 6 points on their driver's license
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment program
  • Mandatory ignition interlock after 45 days of license suspension

Legal help is available if you've been charged with a DUI in Michigan

A DUI conviction can have significant consequences on your life, including steep fines, license suspension, and in some cases, even jail time. To navigate the complexities of this legal issue, it's crucial to seek out experienced representation. At Manley & Manley in Flint, Michigan, our DUI lawyers have established a reputation for delivering results for clients facing alcohol-related charges.

With over 70 years of combined experience in criminal defense, the Manley brothers bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to each case they take on. They understand the intricacies of Michigan law, the courts, and the judges and know what it takes to build a winning defense strategy. The Manley & Manley team conducts its own thorough investigations and carefully reviews police reports to identify any potential errors or violations of procedure. They are not afraid to challenge evidence or consult experts and have a track record of successfully cross-examining witnesses.

For residents of Grand Blanc, Flushing, Fenton, Davison, and Genesee County, the Manley brothers offer a reassuring presence in the face of DUI charges. People trust them to work tirelessly on their behalf and to fight for their rights. If you have been charged with driving under the influence in Michigan, put your trust in the experienced, dedicated team at Manley & Manley. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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