In Michigan, drunk driving charges are referred to as “operating while intoxicated,” or OWI. OWI is synonymous with DUI, driving under the influence, and DWI, driving while intoxicated.
Whatever you call it, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. For drivers younger than 21, the legal BAC limit in Michigan is 0.02% and for working commercial vehicle drivers, the limit is 0.04%. Driving with a BAC above the legal limit subjects a driver to an OWI charge and the penalties that accompany an OWI conviction. When the driver’s BAC is 0.17% or higher, he or she faces even steeper penalties.
In Michigan, the penalties an individual faces for an OWI conviction depend on a variety of factors, such as his or her BAC at the time of the arrest, whether there are previous OWI convictions on his or her record, and if there are aggravating factors at play like having a child under the age of 16 in the car at the time of the arrest.
With no aggravating factors, OWI conviction penalties are as follows:
For a first offense:
For a second offense:
For a third offense:
Your lawyer can discuss how other factors can affect your charge.
There are a few different defense strategies you can use against an OWI charge. These include:
If you have been charged with OWI, start working with an experienced OWI defense lawyer as soon as possible to develop an effective legal defense strategy for your case. To get started, contact our team at The Van Den Heuvel Law Office today to schedule your initial legal consultation with us. We can answer any questions you have and advise you on the most effective course of action to take with your case.