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When is a first-offense OWI a high BAC offense?

Under any circumstances, being accused of a first offense of OWI can be a frightening experience. A person facing such allegations may worry greatly about how their situation will affect their future. Now, what their future will be like could very well hang on the actions they take during the proceedings in their case. So, having good legal guidance throughout their case can be critical for a person facing these kinds of accusations.

Now, not every case involving allegations of a first-time OWI has the same potential consequences connected to it. There are certain things that can up the penalties a person can face in relation to a first-offense OWI here in Michigan. One is if the offense is deemed to be a high BAC offense.

Under Michigan law, a high BAC offense is an OWI offense in which the perpetrator’s blood alcohol content was 0.17 or higher.

A high BAC offense has a different set of penalties than a standard first-time OWI offense. For example, the max jail sentence for a high BAC offense is 180 days. In comparison, it is only 93 days for a regular first-offense OWI. Also, a high BAC OWI crime has a fine range of $200 to $700, while the base-level OWI offense has a fine range of $100 to $500. There are also differences in the license suspension rules for these two types of offenses.

So, whether they are accused of a high BAC offense is one of the things that can have significant ramifications for individuals facing accusations of a first-time OWI in Michigan.

Source: Michigan Secretary of State, “Substance Abuse and Driving,” Accessed Oct. 18, 2016

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