In Michigan, a DUI arrest is a serious matter. Anyone charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol faces numerous penalties including fines, license suspension, alcohol or drug education programs, community service, possible jail time, probation, and alcohol/drug monitoring. The severity of penalties depends on a wide range of factors including: blood alcohol concentration (BAC), previous DUI convictions, and circumstances surrounding this incident. In other words, was there an accident? Was anyone injured? Since a DUI arrest remains a complicated matter, you should hire an experienced DUI defense attorney for guidance through the court case.
A DUI arrest becomes more complicated when a gun is found in the car. Michigan has many laws regarding the transportation of weapons in vehicles. Failure to follow Michigan’s firearm laws may lead to enhanced penalties attached to your DUI conviction.
First of all, when you are stopped by law enforcement you must disclose the fact that you have a gun in the car and let them know if you are a CPL holder. MCL 28.425 states
an individual licensed under this act to carry a concealed pistol and who is carrying a concealed pistol…and who is stopped by a peace officer shall immediately disclose to the peace officer that he or she is carrying a concealed pistol… concealed upon his or her person or in his or her vehicle.
In fact, failure to notify the police is a civil infraction. Second, if you have been drinking and you have a gun in the car you may be in a great deal of trouble. The law prohibits anyone from carrying a gun if their BAC is .02 or higher. Basically, that’s one drink. However, keeping a gun in a locked trunk or locked container may avoid penalties.
Penalties for DUI with a Firearm
Penalties for a DUI with possession of firearm(s) are more harsh than a typical DUI charge. For instance,
- Possessing a firearm while intoxicated- Fines up to $500 and possible 93 days in jail
- Causing serious injury to another with firearm- 15 years in prison and fines up to $5000
- Killing someone with firearm- 15 year prison sentence and fines from $2500-$10000
It’s important to note that blood alcohol content (BAC) limits are much lower for CPL holders. In Michigan, a BAC at or above 0.08 is considered drunk. However, the limits for CPL holders are lower when they are carrying a gun. The penalties for CPL holders are based on the following:
- BAC between .02 and .07-$100 fine; CPL suspension for one year
- BAC between .08 and .09- 93 days in jail and $100 fine; CPL suspension for three years
- BAC of .10 or higher- 93 days in jail and $100 fine; CPL revocation
Attorney for DUI with Possession of Firearm
The above BAC limits refer to CPL regulations and not DUI penalties. For example, a BAC between .02 and .07 is not legally drunk in Michigan. In other words, you would not be charged with a DUI. Yet, you still need an attorney to navigate the legal system.
On the other hand, if your BAC is .08 or higher AND you have a gun in the car, penalties may be enhanced. In other words, being charged for a DUI with possession of firearm(s) is more severe than a typical DUI.
If you were arrested for a DUI with possession of firearm(s) it’s crucial to contact an experienced attorney. Legal counsel will protect your rights and provide guidance through this complicated process. So, consult with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.