DRUNK DRIVING AND DRUG DRIVING

Have you been arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI)? You can fight your charges by retaining an Oakland County criminal defense attorney who can review the evidence and help you challenge it. Leen Nachawati is an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles OWI cases. By consulting an attorney as soon as possible, your chances of a positive case outcome is much higher. Contact us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

Michigan has harsh laws against drinking and driving, as well as driving while under the influence of drugs.

Anonymous | DV & OWI

Leen is an extremely skillful and talented attorney that you will be glad to have on your side. Having worked as a state prosecutor, she is intimately familiar with each step of the legal proceeding. She put herself in the mind of the prosecutor in order to prepare us for every possible scenario and outcome along the long journey from arraignment to trial. Leen spoke clearly and concisely to simplify the complexities of the process. She guided and prepared me every step of the way to land on a winning outcome. I was beyond grateful to have her as my criminal defendant and highly recommend her services.

OWI – FIRST OFFENSE

Michigan law prohibits driving while intoxicated, with a blood alcohol (BAC) content of 0.08% or above, with a BAC of 0.17% or above, or any amount of schedule 1 controlled substance in your body. This conviction will have a lasting effect on your future and you will pay a big price for the conviction. It can result in jail time, fines, probation, and more.

Operating with the Presence of Drugs

Michigan law prohibits driving with any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in your system. Because the Datamaster only detects alcohol, law enforcement will use a blood or urine test to look for the presence of a controlled substance in your body.

A first time OWI conviction can result in:

  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • 30 day driver’s license suspension, followed by 150 days of restricted license
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock system
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with first time operating while intoxicated, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OWI – SECOND OFFENSE

A second OWI conviction may result in harsh penalties. The mandatory term of imprisonment that the court must impose is five days in jail, and Michigan Secretary of State will revoke your driving privileges for one year.

An OWI second offense conviction can result in:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • A minimum one year driver’s license revocation, or minimum of five years if your license has been revoked within the last seven years
  • License plate confiscation
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock system
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with second offense operating while intoxicated, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OWI – THIRD OFFENSE (FELONY DRUNK DRIVING)

Under Michigan law, a third OWI becomes a felony charge. That means it is publishable by up to 5 years in prison. Additionally, it may result in a five-year license revocation. After 45 days of the revocation, a driver may apply for a restricted license. The limited driving privileges will only be given if there is an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle.

An OWI third offense conviction can result in:

  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • Up to five years in prison, with 30 days required minimum days in jail
  • Up to 180 days of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • Up to five year revocation of driver’s license
  • License plate confiscation
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock system
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with a felony operating while intoxicated, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OWI – HIGH BAC (“SUPER DRUNK”)

Michigan law creates a special law for when someone is accused of driving with a very high blood alcohol content (BAC). This is charged when someone’s BAC is 0.17% or higher. The penalties of this crime are higher than a first-time OWI, even if it is your first time being charged with drinking and driving.

A High BAC conviction can result in:

  • Up to $700 in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • 45 day license suspension, followed by 320 days of restricted license
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock system
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with driving with a high BAC, or “super drunk”, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OPERATING WHILE VISIBLY IMPAIRED (OWVI)

Michigan law distinguishes between intoxicated driving and impaired driving. Generally, a driver is considered intoxicated if he or she has a BAC that is over the legal limit of 0.08%. Alternatively, you can be impaired if your ability to safety operate the vehicle is less than that of a normal driver.

The standard of proof for operating while visibly impaired is less than the standard for being under the influence. You can be convicted of impaired driving even if your BAC is under the legal limit. The prosecution has to prove that your ability to operate the vehicle was less than that of a careful driver, due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both. The reduced ability to operate a vehicle safely must be visible to an ordinary observant person.

An OWVI conviction can result in:

  • Up to $300 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Four points on your driving record
  • 90 days of restricted license, or 180 days if impaired by a controlled substance
  • Possible vehicle immobilization

If charged with operating while visibly impaired, speak to an experienced Michigan OWVI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OWI – CHILD ENDANGERMENT (OCCUPANT LESS THAN 16)

Michigan law creates a special law for drunk driving that occur when there is a minor in the vehicle. If you are charged with OWI and have an occupant less than 16 years old in the car, there are more serious consequences.

An OWI occupant less than 16 conviction can result in:

  • Up to $1000 fine
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with driving with an OWI Child Endangerment, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

OWI – DRIVER UNDER 21 (ZERO TOLERANCE)

Michigan law specifies a Zero Tolerance law, which gives greater penalty to those who are caught drinking and driving while under the age of 21. This law does not require the driver to have 0.08% BAC or greater. Instead, anyone under age 21 who is determined to have a BAC of more than .02% but less than .08% may be arrested for OWI under the Zero Tolerance law.

 

An OWI Under 21 conviction can result in:

  • Up to $500 fine
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Four points on your driving record
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Vehicle immobilization

If charged with a Zero Tolerance OWI Driver Under 21, speak to an experienced Michigan OWI attorney immediately. Call us at (248) 571-7003 for a free initial consultation.

GETTING THE INFORMATION

Once you have hired your attorney, the first step will be to gather information. This will done by both you and your attorney.

Important information your attorney will want to know includes:

  • Why were you stopped by the police?
  • Did you admit to drinking any alcohol or consuming any drugs?
  • How much did you actually have?
  • Did you perform any field sobriety tests at the officer’s direction?
  • Did you do a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT)? If so, were you informed of your rights?
  • What sort of test did they take? Blood? Or did they have you blow in to a Datamaster at the police station?
  • Did the officer read your rights to the chemical test?
  • Was anyone else with you?
  • Do you have any recording from your arrest?

FIGHTING THE CHARGE

A drunk driving offense in Michigan is serious, but there are many ways to challenge the charge. An experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney will file pre-trial motions to challenge different parts of your case.

Your attorney may challenge:

  • The traffic stop
  • The operation of the vehicle
  • The field sobriety tests
  • The admission of statements
  • The probable cause to the arrest
  • The admissibility and accuracy of the blood results
  • The admissibility and accuracy of Datamaster results
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