What is a misdemeanor DUI?
In Michigan a misdemeanor is any crime punishable by incarceration of one year or less. This would include a first offense OWI, which is punishable by up to 93 days, a super drunk offense, which is punishable by up to 180 days, first offense child endangerment and 2nd offense OWI, both of which are punishable by 5 days to one year. Under 21 BAC is also a misdemeanor.
What is a felony DUI?
In Michigan a felony is any crime punishable by incarceration of more than one year. This would include any (non-injury/death) felony OWI, meaning three or more OWIs in one’s lifetime, or any OWI involving serious injury or death.
What is reckless driving?
This is also a misdemeanor, and includes any situation where the driver, with or without alcohol in his system, drives with “reckless disregard” for the safety of others. If a first offense, this crime is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, and includes a 90 day “hard” suspension of driving privileges.
What about under age DUI?
If you are under 21 you are not allowed to drive with any alcohol in your system.
Issues when DUI involves an accident or worse.
If there has been an accident, then there are many additional complications, starting first with whether or not others were involved, and if so, whether or not there is any injury or death. If your operation of a motor vehicle, while drunk, causes a serious injury or death, then you will be facing a felony and the very real possibility if not likelihood of a period of years in jail. If there has been no injury or death then the accident will complicate insurance matters, and make plea negotiations more difficult. It is also likely that the judge will take this fact into consideration in passing sentence, and this may increase the likelihood of jail time for even a first offense non-super drunk case.
Patrick T. Barone
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