DUI charges are more likely to be reduced in Southeast Michigan than other areas in the state

DETROIT- Our legal counsel at Traffic Court Buddy has so far assisted a number of DUI cases in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County dating back to 2021, and many times able to reduce the charges from ‘intoxicated’ to ‘impaired.’

There is a significant difference between both convictions. A DUI charge can result in 6 Points on a driver’s license, up to a $500 fine, up to 93 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service and a 30-day suspension of driving privileges. In addition, after the 30-day suspension a driver must go through a 150 day restriction window.

Reducing the charges to impaired driving would result with 4 points on a drivers record, up to $300 in fines, up to 93 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service and a 90-day restriction of driving privileges.

A plea deal for the lesser sentencing depends on the severity of the charge, the court that’s bringing the charges forward and how good the driver’s record had been up to that point.

Bridge Michigan recently conducted a study on drunk driving in Michigan and found that Michigan Police had issued 26,700 DUI charges in 2022 with half of them resulting in plea deals.

What’s even more interesting about the data is that the courts in Southeast Michigan were far more likely to accept plea deals with DUI charges than the courts on the western side of the state, which is generally considered a more conservative area.

For example, In Ottawa County on the west side of Michigan, 6 of 7 drivers charged with driving while intoxicated were convicted for that charge, a misdemeanor that usually results in 30 days of license suspension and six points on their driving record.

In Westland, located in Wayne County, just 1 in 10 motorists were convicted of driving while intoxicated, while the rest pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of driving while impaired, a misdemeanor that carries a license restriction — not a suspension — and four points on their driving record.

Westand’s assistant city attorney Mike McNamara went on the record to state that he’s more sympathetic to motorists arrested for drunk driving who would still need a car to go to work. These kinds of plea bargains are usually only accepted if a driver had a lower blood-alcohol level and the offense did not involve a crash.

In general, it is likely that if a driver is a first-time offender with an alcohol blood level between 0.08 percent and 0.17 percent and involved in no car accident, the court will consider the plea bargain.

A motorist is considered drunk if their blood-alcohol-content level is over .08 percent.

(For a man weighing 180 pounds, they could exceed .08 percent after four drinks — a 4 ounce glass of wine, a typical cocktail or a beer. For a woman weighing 140 pounds, it would take three drinks, according to Michigan officials.)

Other data includes Plymouth, where 90 percent of drunk driving arrests resulted in impaired driving convictions in 2022, 89 percent in St. Clair Shores and 81 percent in Sterling Heights and Shelby Township.

While data on drunk driving for 2023 is still being compiled, Oakland County did release some findings ahead of Thanksgiving weekend to curb offenses. Oakland County Police reported that of their 29,000 traffic crashes, 742 of those have been alcohol related.

For that reason, Oakland County deputies launched a massive operation during Thanksgiving week to target drunk drivers. That week is known for having the most drunk driving related traffic accidents.

If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a drunk driving charge, it is important you hire an attorney from that area that is aware of the court’s system and is able to apply the best understanding to get the charges reduced.

 At Traffic Court Buddy, we believe that every individual should have access to legal representation for any traffic-related charges. From tickets to forfeiture of vehicles, we make it our mission to help provide all the facts to help ensure you receive the minimum possible penalties for any alleged infraction. If you need traffic court representation, reach out today!