Michigan OWI Charges and Penalties

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In Michigan there are four types of drunk driving offense which carry various penalties. The four types of offenses for drunk or impaired driving that you can be charged with in Michigan are: 1) Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), 2) Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine, (OWPD), 3) Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) aka Impaired Driving, and 4) Operating Under the Age of 21 with any trace of alcohol. I will discuss each of these in detail. Keep in mind that there are other more serious offenses such as OWI Causing serious Injury or Death and others that are beyond the scope of this article. This only covers the basic OWI charges.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)– This is the most common and is Michigan’s main DUI charge. There are three situations where you can fall into this category.

 

  • Alcohol or drugs substantially affects or impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle on a public roadway.
  • Operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above.
  •  Operating a motor vehicle on a public highway with a BAC of .17 or above. This is known as High BAC or Super Drunk.

 

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)– AKA Impaired Driving. This is when alcohol or drugs make your inability to safely operate a motor vehicle visibly apparent. This is frequently offered by prosecutors as an initial plea bargain for first-time OWI charges.

 

Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)– This is just what it sounds like. If you are driving a motor vehicle on a public road with any trace of the above in your system, regardless of whether your show signs of visible impairment or intoxication, you are guilty of this offense. Some drugs, like marijuana, can stay in your system for a long time– up to a month. Drivers need to be especially careful of this because that blunt you smoked at the frat party three weeks ago can come back to haunt you in a very serious way. You don’t get a break for medical marijuana either. If you are driving with marijuana in your system, even if you have a Medical Marijuana Card, you are guilty of this offense.

 

Under 21 and Operating With Any BAC– If you are under the age of 21 and are operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02 or greater or with any trace of alcohol (unless it was consumed as part of a religious ceremony) you cannot lawfully drive on a public road. This is part of Michigan’s “zero tolerance” policy.

 

Now that we know what the charges are, let’s go over the penalties.

 

OWI or OWPD 1st Offense:

 

  • 93 days in jail
  • One-year probation
  • $500 fine plus court costs
  • 45 days of community service
  • Possible ignition interlock or vehicle immobilization
  • Six points on your driving record
  • 30 days suspended license, 150 days of restrictions
  • $2,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($1,000 for two consecutive years) for OWI
  • $1,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($500 for two consecutive years) for OWPD

 

OWI or OWPD 2nd Offense:

 

  • Five days to one year in jail
  • Two years probation
  • $1,000 fine plus court costs
  • 30-90 days of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • Possible ignition interlock
  • Mandatory vehicle immobilization for 90-180 days, unless forfeited
  • License Plate confiscation
  • Driver’s License revocation for one-year
  • $2,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($1,000 for two consecutive years)

 

OWI or OWPD 3rd Offense:

 

  • Five years in prison
  • Probation with jail 30 days to one year
  • $5,000 fines plus court costs
  • 60-180 days of community service
  • Six points on your driving record
  • Possible ignition interlock
  • Mandatory vehicle immobilization for one to three years, unless forfeited
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture
  • Driver’s License revocation: one-year if two convictions within seven years, five-years if three convictions within 10 years
  • $2,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($1,000 for two consecutive years)

 

OWVI:

 

  • 93 days in jail
  • One-year probation
  • $300 fine plus court costs
  • 45 days community service
  • Possible ignition interlock or vehicle immobilization
  • Four points on your driving record
  • 90 days restricted license (180 days if impaired by a controlled substance)
  • $1,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($500 for two consecutive years)

 

 

High BAC or Super Drunk

 

  • 180 days in jail
  • $200-700 in fines plus court costs
  • 45 days community service
  • One-year suspended license with eligibility for a restricted license after 45 days if an ignition interlock is installed
  • Six points on your driving record
  • $2,000 in Driver’s Responsibility Fees ($1,000 for two consecutive years)

 

Under 21 Operating With Any BAC 1st Offense:

 

  • $500 fine plus court costs
  • 45 days community service
  • 30 days restricted license
  • Four points on your driving record
  • $1,000 in Driver Responsibility Fees ($500 for two consecutive years)

 

Under 21 Operating With Any BAC 2nd Offense:

 

  • 93 days in jail
  • 60 days community service
  • 90 days suspended license
  • Four points on your driving record
  • $1,000 in Driver Responsibility Fees ($500 for two consecutive years)

 

If you have been charged with an OWI Offense, call Austin Legal Services today to speak to our Michigan DUI Lawyer at (6=517) 614-1983.

 

Defending OWI charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Jackson, Clinton, Gratiot, Shiawassee, Livingston, Washtenaw, Calhoun, Kent, Barry in the cites of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Charlotte, St. Johns, Bath, Ithaca, Corunna, Brighton, Howell, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo.