Drunk Driving Defense


Drunk Driving is a horrible thing to be accused of. It can effect your job, your ability to drive, your car insurance rates, your immigration status, your ability to travel internationally, your parenting rights, and other fallout. Drunk driving is also known as Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUIL), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI); or Operating With the Presence of a Controlled Substance (OWPCS).

The punishment keeps getting tougher and bigger. And Judges keep handing out harder and more intense jail, fines, costs, counseling, fees, and other penalties.

The Burns Law Office is here to help you through this! This is what we do at the Burns Law Office. It is our goal to help you through this tough situation while retaining your dignity, provide you with help in understanding the information/accusations/charges that are being thrown at you, and to provide you with our vast experience and expert opinion as to what we think you should do in your situation.

We demand all evidence the police and its agents have against you. We then review the information they provide carefully to see whether they can use it against you at a trial. If they cannot use some or all of their evidence for some reason, that can sometimes help you have the charges changed to a smaller crime, result in dismissal of your case, or possibly result in a not guilty verdict with a judge or jury. We attempt to make sure you have answers to your questions so that you understand the evidence and claims made against you so that you can make an informed decision about what to do.

Our approach:

  1. Conduct an interview with you where we discuss what happened and the important issues surrounding the charges or claims brought against you.
  2. Demand all evidence the police and prosecutor have against you and all evidence they have that shows you did not do what you are accused of.
  3. Review the evidence the police and prosecutor give to us.
  4. Review the reason(s) the police give for stopping you in the first place and make sure there are actual legal grounds for you getting pulled over.
  5. Review the reason(s) the police say they did not let you go on your way.
  6. Review the reason(s) the police say they kept you as long as they did.
  7. Review any “Walk a straight line,” “Recite the alphabet,” or “Touch your nose” type of tests. There are many different kinds of these, including but not necessarily limited to: “one leg stand,” “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus” or “HGN” (where the officer tracks the way your eyeball jerks without you knowing, as you watch something move), “Walk and turn” or “Walk-a-straight-line,” stand with feet together and tilt head backwards, count the number of fingers raised by the officer, recite the alphabet or a portion of it, count backwards, finger to nose, hand pat test (where one hand is extended palm up and the other hand is placed on it palm down and then the second hand is patted on the first hand while the second hand is rotated palm-up then palm-down, over and over), etc. These are called “field sobriety tests” by the police and prosecutor. They police usually try to give you a number of these tests and then gauge the results to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
  8. Review the results of any tests made of your breath while you were on the road with the officer. This roadside test of your breath is called a “Preliminary Breath Test” or “PBT.” results. The PBT results are not usually allowed to be used against you at trial, except in some limited circumstances. PBT results can be used by the prosecutor to show the judge that the police had a reason to pull you over (what is called “probable cause” for stopping you) on suspicion of drunk driving. Refusing to take a PBT can result in fines and other penalties.
  9. Review the results of any breath test(s) the police gave you at the jail. If you refuse to take these tests, your license will be suspended immediately. CALL IMMEDIATELY TO HELP MAKE SURE YOU FILE ANY APPEAL WITHIN 14 DAYS of getting the ticket for refusing to take this breath test.
  10. Review the results of any blood test(s) you were given.
  11. Review any statement(s) made by you before your arrest and after your arrest. Review any statements made by witnesses.
  12. Review whether Michigan Law allows the police and prosecutor to use the evidence against you at trial. First, whether the evidence shows the police had an acceptable reason to arrest you in the first place. Also, whether the evidence is likely to show you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  13. Review any defenses you may have. There may be legal defenses you have that are in Michigan Law. You also might have a defense based on the facts of what happened.
  14. Make a decision based on what is best for you. You and I come to a decision as to what to do: whether to file motions, whether to go to trial, whether to settle the matter prior to a trial.

Many attorneys think they are the boss, but we recognize that you are the boss. If you think of us as the quarterback, then you are the Coach; if we are the Coach, then you are the Owner. We will do our best to make sure you understand the situation, so that you can make a decision that works for your life and your future.

Even though the law keeps making it easier for police to arrest people and charge them with Drunk Driving (OUIL, DWI, OWVI, OWI, DUI), police and their agents still make mistakes. These can occur in many ways. It is my goal to: provide you with what you need to understand the situation and make an informed decision about what to do.



[email protected]


(616) 920-6594

Daniel L. Burns
29 Pearl Avenue NW, Suite 145
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(f) (616) 454-6572