Q. What is a Preliminary Breath Test?
A. A Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is a breath test used by the arresting officer to determine someone’s blood/alcohol level. A Preliminary Breath Test is not admissible at Trial.
Q. If convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), will I go to jail?
A. In most Michigan jurisdictions, District Court Judges do not put drivers in jail for a first drinking and driving offense. Most Judges look more toward substance abuse treatment as opposed to a jail sentence; however, if it is a second offense, there is, in most jurisdictions, the real possibility of jail time.
If you have a prior alcohol offense within 7 years preceding the current offense, there is a mandatory 5 days to 1 year in jail with no less than 48 hours to be served consecutively. There is also an alternate sentence of 30 to 90 days of community service.
A third alcohol related offense within 10 years can be charged as a felony in the State of Michigan. While the statute provides for imprisonment for 1 to 5 years with not less than 48 hours served consecutively, Defendants are sentenced within Michigan’s Sentencing Guidelines.
Q. How many points will I get for a drinking and driving offense?
A. The Sectretary of State will now assign 6 points for a conviction for Operating While Intoxicated, or Operating a Vehicle with the Presence of a Schedule One Narcotic in your system.
You will receive 4 points on your driving record if you are convicted of Impaired Driving, or if you are under the age of 21 with any bodily blood/alcohol content.
Lastly, you can receive 2 points on your driving record for having an open alcohol container in your vehicle if you have alcohol in your system.
Additionally, you may receive 2 points on your driving record if you refuse the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) if you are under 21 years of age.
Q. What will happen to my driver’s license if convicted of Operating While Intoxicated or Operating with the Presence of Controlled Substances in my system?
A. The Secretary of State will assess 6 points on your driver’s license. Your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days and that will be followed by 150 days of restricted driving privileges. Lastly, you will receive from the Secretary of State a $1,000.00 driver responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years for Operating While Intoxicated.
If you are convicted of Operating with the Presence of a Controlled Substance in your system, you will receive a $500.00 driver responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years.
If you are convicted of Operating While Visibly Impaired, you will receive a restricted driver’s license for 90 days, 180 days if you were impaired by a controlled substance. Your driver responsibility fee will be $500.00 for two consecutive years.
Q. What would happen if I was convicted of an alcohol offense while driving and I am under the age of 21?
A. For a first offense violation of the Zero Tolerance law, you would receive 4 points on your driving record and your driver’s license would be restricted for 30 days. You would also receive a $500.00 driver responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years.
If you receive a second offense Zero Tolerance violation, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days and you will receive 4 points on your driving record. Further, you will receive a $500.00 driver responsibilty fee for 2 consecutive years.