Whether headed home from a restaurant or a night out with friends, the last thing you want to see is police car lights in your rearview mirror. You had a couple of drinks, but you don’t feel drunk. Are the cops going to let you go or arrest you on operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI) charges?
After failing a field sobriety test in your traffic stop, an OWI arrest will almost certainly occur. Still, it’s only your first drunk driving traffic stop. What’s the worst that could happen?
You could lose your license
Everyone arrested for OWI loses their driving privileges for a time. If this is your first arrest, a conviction will mean the loss of your license for up to 180 days. However, it might be possible to obtain a restricted driver’s license after 30 days.
You could go to jail
Even a first offense on OWI charges leads to incarceration in most situations. The typical sentence upon a first-time drunk driving conviction means spending up to 93 days behind bars.
You could have to do community service
As penalties go, community service doesn’t seem very harsh until you realize how long it can last. A first offense OWI can mean 360 hours of community service. When added up, 360 hours amounts to 15 24-hour days you could have spent working or enjoying yourself.
Other possible penalties for a first OWI conviction include paying a fine as high as $500 and potentially losing your vehicle for a time.
To avoid these and other potential consequences, learn more about the complex OWI laws in Michigan. A good next step is exploring your defense options with an experienced legal advocate.