Michigan OWI Attorney Serving Troy
Throughout the United States, it is illegal to drive when one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. Individual states can impose additional BAC limits, and Michigan does this for drivers under 21 and commercial drivers. For a driver under 21, the only legal BAC is 0.00%. For a commercial driver, a BAC of 0.04% or higher is above the legal limit.
When an individual is pulled over under the suspicion of driving with an illegal BAC, he or she may face an operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge. This type of charge is known as driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in other states.
OWI Charges and Penalties
There are many variables at play with an OWI charge. These include the driver’s previous OWI conviction record, his or her BAC at the time of the arrest, and whether there are aggravating factors present, like a child under the age of 16 in the car at the time of the arrest.
Penalties for an OWI conviction can include:
- A driver’s license suspension;
- Jail time;
- An ignition interlock device on the driver’s vehicle;
- Community service;
- A required alcohol education course; and
- Points on the convicted individual’s driver’s license.
Not all OWI convictions involve all of these penalties. For example, an individual’s first OWI conviction for driving with a BAC over 0.08% but below 0.17% will result in a fine of up to $500, up to 93 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension for up to six months.
Related charges include refusing to comply with an officer’s request for a breath sample to gauge the driver’s BAC and driving while under the influence of a drug other than alcohol. This charge is known as Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI). Unlike an OWI, an OWVI conviction does not require a driver’s BAC to be 0.08% or above.
Defending your Case Against an OWI Charge
Never assume that an OWI charge means an OWI conviction. Just like every other criminal charge, you can fight your OWI charge to potentially have it dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge, known as a “wet reckless” in Michigan. This is a reckless driving charge that, while carrying penalties that include jail time and a fine, is not considered in the seven-year lookback period for OWI charges. This means that when an individual with a wet reckless on his or her record is charged with OWI, he or she faces the penalties for a first-time offense, not a second-time offense.
Work with an Experienced Troy OWI Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with OWI, fight the charge with the help of an experienced OWI defense lawyer. To get started on your legal defense strategy, contact Michigan Defense Law today to set up your initial legal consultation with us. We can answer any questions you have and work with you to develop a personalized legal defense strategy for your case.