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3 Myths About Getting Pulled Over For DUI/OWI

If you get pulled over for operating while intoxicated (OWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs of alcohol, you are facing very serious criminal charges. Even a first offense for DUI or OWI in Michigan can carry expensive fines, jail time or community service. You also have to deal with the Secretary of State who could revoke your driving privileges.

These charges and penalties are serious, but there are some things you can do to improve your chances of a strong defense. Knowing your rights can help protect you if you are ever in this situation.

Here are three myths about being pulled over and DUI/OWI that you may believe to be true.

Myth #1 - You have to submit to a breathalyzer.

This is a myth. You can refuse to take a breathalyzer test. However, this refusal of breathalyzer in Michigan will most likely result in harsh penalties, such as an automatic suspension of your driver's license privileges for a year. If you aren't sure about submitting to a breathalyzer, speak with an attorney first before complying.

Myth #2 - You must answer questions from the police.

While it is true that you must be respectful and cooperate with police, you do not have to make any verbal or written statements that may incriminate you. Instead, you may invoke your 5th Amendment Rights and request to speak with an attorney. The officer is required to read you a Miranda Warning which explains your rights, including the right to remain silent. If you waive your rights and admit you have been drinking or taking drugs, this kind of statement may be admissible in court.

Myth #3 - Drinking coffee will sober you up.

This is a common misconception. Drinking coffee will not make a person sober faster. Only time will help a person sober up. The alcohol or drugs need to work through your system, and that takes time.

Whether you are facing a first offense charge for DUI/OWI or a repeat offense, the charges are serious. Having a conviction on your record can affect future opportunities, such as acceptance into college, job applications and loan approvals for cars and housing, among other things. A drunk driving criminal defense attorney can try and get charges reduced or dismissed to keep your record clean or minimize penalties.

What will your record look like after facing DUI/OWI charges?

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