Drunk Driving Testing Procedures
Michigan Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys Explain DUI Testing Procedures in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout the State
There are a number of drunk driving testing procedures which may be administered to an individual who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. These include field sobriety tests, blood tests, and roadside (preliminary) and Datamaster breath tests. You cannot be arrested for DUI unless a police officer has probable cause.
When a police officer suspects you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you may be pulled over. If upon further observance the officer detects signs of alcohol use such as erratic behavior, slurred speech, or alcohol odor, he or she may request that you submit to a physical (field sobriety) test or breathalyzer test. Should either of these tests further indicate that you are intoxicated, probable cause exists, and you may be arrested for DUI.
After being arrested, you will be taken to the police station where you will undergo further testing to determine BAC (blood alcohol content) using a Datamaster device. You will be held overnight, then arraigned or released the following day.
An arraignment is where you (the criminal defendant) will be advised of the charges against you, your rights, and the potential penalties if convicted of driving under the influence. While your lawyer may be present at the arraignment, it is not required. However, having your lawyer present may be beneficial in procuring a lower bond amount on your behalf.
Whether you are charged with a first OWI offense or subsequent offense depends on whether you have been convicted of driving under the influence in the past. If you have been convicted of operating while intoxicated within the previous seven years, you may be charged with a 2nd offense OUIL. Two or more prior convictions will result in prosecutors charging you with a 3rd offense DUI, which is a felony in Michigan. Potential jail time for a first offense is 93 days; a second DUI offense may result in up to one year in jail, and a third, or lifetime offense, up to five years in jail. If charged with a 3rd OUIL offense, you have the right to request a preliminary examination, which is a hearing where the prosecutor must show probable cause that you did in fact commit the crimes you are charged with; this exam must be held within 14 days of arraignment.
Other circumstances may leave you facing criminal charges which are even more serious, including children being present in the vehicle at the time you were accused of driving under the influence, or if someone is injured or killed as a result of intoxicated driving. You may be charged with OUIL/child endangerment, or OUIL causing serious bodily injury or death.
Prior to trial, a pre-trial conference will be held regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI. At these conferences there are several issues which may be addressed. Motions regarding the evidence to be presented at trial may be heard; involved parties may discuss issues involving evidence, or attorneys may discuss the possibility of a plea bargain. To ensure all of the details of your case are carefully analyzed so that the best possible outcome may be reached, it is highly recommended you secure the legal support and guidance of a capable Michigan DUI defense attorney.
The final stage before trial begins is selection of the jurors. Seven jurors are selected if you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense; if charged as a felony, 13 jurors will be selected. The jurors are selected following a process known as voir dire in which the court and lawyers question individuals in the jury pool. Once jurors have been selected, trial will be held shortly thereafter. It is important to note that the prosecution has the burden of demonstrating each element of the crime you are charged with beyond a reasonable doubt. If found guilty (also known as being convicted) of the DUI offense, your case will proceed to the sentencing phase.
Grabel & Associates is known across the state of Michigan for securing positive results for clients charged with drunk driving offenses. We work vigorously, giving your case the personal attention necessary to obtain positive results, including thorough investigation of the evidence. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI, contact our highly skilled Michigan DUI defense firm today. Call for a free confidential consultation at 1-800-342-7896. Contact us online now.