OWI- the letters we don’t want to see on any correspondence or ticket received from law enforcement. Driving under the influence of any substance, legal, or illegal, is unsafe, quite dangerous to you and others, and just plain old bad decision making.
Having an OWI on one’s driving record is a restricting experience and can cost a driver his privileges, and many times, his job. For most of us, our transportation is essential to our livelihood and our daily family schedules and activities; and with a OWI, we often have to rearrange, not just our lives, but the lives of those around us.
Every state may vary slightly in its rules of giving out an OWI, and how they enforce this driving restriction, but if you are a resident of Michigan, you may wonder what having a OWI on your record entails.
Here is your answer:
In the state of Michigan, “drunk driving” is the label given to anyone driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. If a driver is caught with illegal drugs in their system, such as marijuana, cocaine, or GHB, the prosecution will not legally bear the burden of proving that you were impaired, just simply that you had any of these drugs in your system.
Refusing to take a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test, will not help you if you are pulled over in Michigan for driving under the influence. The state has what is called an, “implied consent law,” which means that if you refuse the tests, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a year, and in addition to any monetary and criminal penalties you receive, six points will be added to your license.
For those who are not of the legal drinking age of 21, the law is even stricter for those caught driving under the influence. If a minor is caught with even an unopened container of alcohol while driving or parked in a lot, he or she will be charged with a criminal misdemeanor. If the underage driver has alcohol in their system, of 0.02% or greater, they will be arrested.
Drivers can be charged with a list of violations depending upon the situation:
Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI)
Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
Operating a vehicle with any presence of a schedule 1 drug or cocaine (in other words, even if you do not appear impaired, if there is even a trace of any of these drugs in your system, you can be prosecuted).
There are various fees that a driver could face after their court hearing; including monetary fines, license suspensions and restrictions, vehicle immobilization, community service, and incarceration. So remember, it is wise, safe, and lawful, to avoid driving if you are under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal.
If you have any more questions about your OWI, please contact The Law Office of Joseph F. Awad today!