Articles Tagged with OWI Lawyer

Do the police in Michigan have to obtain a warrant in order to draw blood from a DUI/OWI suspect? Under Michigan law (MCL 257.625a), a person can be charged with an OWI if that person’s blood, breath, or urine show any sign of alcohol if the person is under the age of 21, and if the blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher for anyone who is 21 and older. Sometimes Michigan police officers administer breathalyzer tests in order to determine a driver’s BAC, but a police officer also may require a driver to submit to a blood test if they prefer. Does a law enforcement officer need to have a warrant in order to force a driver to submit to a blood test?

This is a question that actually went before the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 2016 the Court ruled that warrantless blood draws are unlawful in most suspected drunk driving cases, while a warrantless breath test is lawful.

Understanding Warrantless Blood Draw Laws

No one gets behind the wheel of a car expecting to be charged with drunk driving in Michigan, but even a slight lapse in judgment can lead to serious implications. Depending on your history of prior convictions and whether your conduct caused an accident, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony offenses. In addition to fines and potential jail time, a conviction can lead to a driver’s license suspension, sky-high insurance rates, a permanent criminal record, and other consequences. Knowing that prosecutors are cracking down on drunk driving, it’s important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist with your case. An overview of Michigan’s laws on driving while drunk or drugged should help you understand how these cases work.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Michigan uses the term “operating” in the context of drunk driving cases, but the charges are similar to DUI. If you’re 21 years or older, you can be arrested for OWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. The penalties are harsh if you’re convicted:

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