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Bloomfield Hills DUI Lawyer

Authorities are focusing more attention than ever on offenses that involve impaired driving. Under increasing public pressure, legislatures have increased penalties and lowered thresholds for many offenses.  Certain categories of drivers have different limits or even a “zero tolerance” standard.

So, if you have been charged with an impaired driving offense such as a DUI, it is important to contact a Bloomfield Hills DUI attorney to understand the possible consequences as well as the best actions to take to minimize possible penalties.

An experienced Bloomfield Hills criminal lawyer will be able to explain the procedures involved, review the possible outcomes, provide advice, advocate on your behalf, and stand by you through the whole process. En Español.

Understanding the Offense

While many jurisdictions use the terms driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in their impaired driving laws, Michigan law uses the term operating while intoxicated or OWI.

Section 257.625 of the Michigan Vehicle Code prohibits operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and then defines that prohibition to include operating a vehicle:

  • While under the influence of alcohol
  • While under the influence of a controlled substance, other intoxicating substances, or a combination of substances
  • With a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more based on a blood, breath or urine test (.04 for commercial drivers)
  • When the consumption of alcohol or another substance visibly impairs an individual’s ability to operate the vehicle
  • While having in the body any amount of certain designated controlled substances

It is important to note that the law not only prohibits individuals from operating vehicles while in such a state but also prohibits the owner of a vehicle from knowingly allow an intoxicated individual to operate the vehicle. A DUI lawyer in Bloomfield Hills can help an individual determine the best defense available for the facts and circumstances of their case.

Factors that Escalate the Penalties in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Certain circumstances increase the risk of harm to others and are therefore penalized more severely under the law. No matter the severity, an individual should enlist the help of a Bloomfield Hills DUI lawyer to help lessen any consequences. The following circumstances increase the penalties for OWI offenses:

  • Operating with a passenger under the age of 16
  • Having a BAC level of .17 percent or higher based on a blood, breath or urine test
  • Causing injury or death
  • Having a prior conviction for a similar offense within the past seven years

In addition, if a driver is arrested and refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test, the refusal becomes a separate offense with a one-year driver’s license suspension and six points added to the driver’s license, in addition to other penalties for the underlying offense. A Bloomfield Hills DWI attorney can inform their client of the penalties they may be facing and how best to challenge them.

Drivers Under the Age of 21

The state of Michigan has adopted a “Zero Tolerance” policy for drivers under the age of 21. Any presence of alcohol in the system is considered a violation, and a BAC level of .02 or higher is grounds for arrest.

Moreover, individuals under the age of 21 are also subject to arrest if they buy, possess, consume or transport alcohol.


The penalties for violations vary depending on the BAC level of the driver and the existence of prior offenses. For a first offense where the BAC level is below .17, the penalty may include a fine of up to $500, license suspension for six months, up to three months in jail and six points on the driver’s license, plus additional fees.

For a subsequent offense, BAC above .17, or where a young passenger is involved or the driver injures or kills another party, the penalties increase and can go as high as 20 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000.

Contact a Bloomfield Hills DUI Attorney

Even at the lowest levels, a charge involving an OWI crime can have a serious impact on drivers of all ages. Contact a knowledgeable Bloomfield Hills DUI attorney to start taking the steps necessary to build the best possible defense and minimize undesirable consequences.