The law in Michigan is very serious about drinking and driving, or what is referred to “operating while intoxicated” (OWI). However, rarely are these types of cases cut and dry – there are often circumstances that disprove or at the very least call in to question whether you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is important to understand the law and to hire experienced counsel to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
There are severe consequences for an OWI conviction under Michigan law – even if it is your first offense. Depending on the circumstances, an OWI can be a misdemeanor or a felony. However, the following are potential consequences if you are convicted of an OWI charge in Michigan:
Given what is at stake, if you have been charged with an OWI, it is critical to secure counsel early on to defend you and ensure that your rights are preserved throughout the legal process. The sooner that you contact ZAYID LAW, the sooner we can fight the charges brought against you and work to minimize the fines, penalties and other potential consequences.
Read more below and browse the ZAYID LAW Michigan Criminal Defense Information Center to arm yourself with information on Michigan OWI charges and the criminal justice system. If you have been charged with a drunk driving in Oakland, Macomb, or Wayne County Michigan, I strongly advise you to contact an attorney today to be sure your rights are protected. When you become a client of ZAYID LAW, I am available any time you need me – by phone, text message, email, Zoom, or in person — because your freedom is my focus.
Learn more about Michigan criminal defense attorney Justin Zayid, founder of ZAYID LAW.
Under Michigan law, even if your blood alcohol content is less than 0.08, you can be still prosecuted for “operating while impaired.” While the “legal limit” is usually measured by Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), this offense simply requires “less ability than would an ordinary careful driver.” The law also says that your ability to drive “must have been lessened to the point that it would have been noticed by another person.”
Often referred to as “DUI,” OWI is the most common drunk driving offense in Michigan. The prosecutor must prove that you were at or above the legal limit of 0.08 or that because of drinking alcohol, your mental or physical condition was significantly affected and you were no longer able to operate your car in a normal manner.
If the prosecutor can prove your BAC was above .17, you may be charged with Operating with a High Blood Alcohol Content, or what is referred to as “superdrunk.” This requires proof of BAC more than double the legal limit and, accordingly, comes with tougher punishment.
Michigan police have a legal basis to pull you over even if you were not drinking, but were under the influence of drugs. The standards for operating under the influence of drugs are the same as alcohol. For operating while impaired, the prosecutor must prove the drugs caused you to drive with “less ability than would an ordinary careful driver,” which means your ability to drive “must have been lessened to the point that it would have been noticed by another person.” For operating while intoxicated, the prosecutor must prove that because of any drugs in your system, your mental or physical condition was significantly affected and you were no longer able to operate your car in a normal manner.
Drugged Driving First Offense: Misdemeanor
Penalty: The penalties for operating while impaired by drugs and operating while intoxicated by drugs are the same as if you had been under the influence of alcohol rather than drugs. — with one notable exception. For an operating while impaired by drugs conviction, your license will be restricted for 180 days rather than only 90 days.
ZAYID LAW will provide aggressive defense to your drunk driving / OWI charges early and often in your case. I know the courts, understand the law, and am in the position to produce the best possible outcome to your case. I know what it takes to defend you against the system, and it is important to contact ZAYID LAW from day one to preserve your rights and get ready to defend your case.