All You Need to Know about Your O.W.I/O.W.V.I Sentencing in Michigan


If you have sentencing questions call Aida at 248-624-5500 or email

Whether your O.W.I./O.W.V.I. case involved a “guilty” plea or a “guilty” verdict by a judge or jury, you will at some point have to face sentencing – unless your case is dismissed along the way.  Awaiting sentencing is perhaps the most trying time of your case.  But knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of the anxiety and help achieve the most favorable sentencing result.

Sentencing for an O.W.I./O.W.V.I. case is the result of the following variables:

  • Judge’s personal philosophy
  • The court that you are in
  • Personal background
  • Blood Alcohol Content (B.A.C.)
  • Prior alcohol related offenses (O.W.I., Open Intoxicants, M.I.P.)
  • Other prior criminal record
  • Your own statement (what you say on your own behalf)
  • Attorney’s statement (what the attorney says on your behalf)
  • Pre-Sentence Investigation (P.S.I.): The P.S.I. Report, or Sentencing Recommendation, is generally based on your:
  1. NEEDS Assessment (a written alcohol-use questionnaire)
  2. Interview with a Probation Officer
  3. It is very important that the number of drinks you consumed on the night of the offense matches your  B.A.C. level.  Otherwise, a Probation Officer will think that you are either a liar or in denial.  It’s a bad idea to get off on the wrong foot with the court and the probation department. You can go to the “drink wheel” to calculate your number of drinks.
  • Alcohol rehab that you are participating in such as outpatient treatment/counseling and AA (AA sign-in sheet)

In general, sentencing for an O.W.I./O.W.V.I. case consists of:

  •  Reporting Probation:

You will be required to meet with a probation officer in person at least once each month, or as often as the probation agent may require

You will be required to pay $40.00/$50.00 a month in probation oversight  fees

  • Non-Reporting Probation:

You will be required to make a report, usually by mail, to the probation officer on a monthly basis or as often as the probation agent may require

You will be required to pay a one time fee of  approximately $50.00

  • Substance abuse education or counseling (depends on your NEEDS Assessment):

Education is usually a 1-2 day program

Counseling usually consists of at least 6 sessions. It will not be terminated until your counselor decides that you are done. This often has to be paid out or your pocket.

It is up to you to insure that your probation officer receives confirmation of enrollment, attendance, and completion of any educational or treatment programs.

  • AA/NA Support Group Meetings:

You are responsible for making sure proof is provided to the probation officer

AA sign-in sheet

AA locations

  • Victim Impact Panel:

Victim impact panels are lectures on the dangers and consequences of drunk  driving

The panel is developed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) and is  composed of individuals who have had family members killed or injured by drunk drivers.  It is also composed of law enforcement officers.

Usually last from one to two hours and costs approximately $30.00

  • Victim Impact Weekend:

A short residential intervention program that includes classes and group discussions on alcohol and chemical dependency, decision making, family impact issues, and personal responsibility.

Includes a Victim Impact Panel presented by M.A.D.D. and several hours of community service.

You will be required to pay the program costs which are approximately $300.00

General Information:

  • Driver Intervention Program (D.I.P.):

It is a 4 day residential program which provides the participants the opportunity to obtain education on Michigan drunk driving laws and alcohol/drug abuse and addiction

Presentations are provided by M.A.D.D., victims of drunk drivers, and recovered alcoholics

o    Program costs are anywhere between $400.00 to $500.00
o    Licensed counselors provide one-on-one sessions
o    General Information:

  • The Weekend and Weekday Alternative (W.W.A.M.) Program:

Required to perform community service at non-profit organizations on weekends and/or specified weekdays

Can be ordered to attend no less than 2 days and no more than 20 days

Cost is $15.00 for each day of participation

Guidelines and Rules :

http: //

  • J.A.M.S. (random alcohol and/or drug testing)

The fees for testing range from $6.00 to $25.00

If you are taking any over the counter remedies or prescribed medications, make sure to inform your probation officer prior to testing and provide any necessary proof

  • Ignition Interlock:

A breath-testing device, typically installed in the dashboard of       your vehicle

The driver must blow in the device and pass a breath alcohol test before the engine will start

The fees for the ignition interlock device installation cost between $100.00 and     $200.00, while the monthly rental fee may range from $70.00 to $100.00.  These fees will come directly out of your pocket.

  • Community Service Hours:

Community service work may be done at non-profit organizations with court   approval

You will be required to perform anywhere between 20-50 hours of community service

  • The Community Work Program (C.W.P.):

Required to perform manual labor in lieu of incarceratio

Provides service to local municipalities and other non-profit organizations

The normal work hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Fines, Costs, and Fees

  • Court fines and costs ordered by the judge MUST be paid on the date of sentencing unless other arrangements are made with the Court
  • Court fines and costs are anywhere between $800.00 and $1400.00, in additional to any probation fees.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, an attorney may consider submitting a Sentencing Memorandum to the Judge, on your behalf, prior to your sentencing.  Such a memorandum is written to persuade the judge to sentence you to what you and your attorney believe is appropriate but what is most likely not going to be recommended by the Probation Department in the PSI Report

If you have any questions call Aida at 248-624-5500 or email



Filed under Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI

2 responses to “All You Need to Know about Your O.W.I/O.W.V.I Sentencing in Michigan

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