If you were arrested for a Michigan OWI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s). The law enforcement officer believed that you were so impaired that your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely was diminished. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. Below we have compiled the most important information for you to inform yourself about Michigan OWI.
Throughout the country, the acronyms for drunk driving are typically DUI and DWI. Michigan uses the acronym OWI, or Operating While Impaired. Michigan also uses OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired), OUIL (Operating Under the Influence of Liquor), and UBAL (Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content) synonymously with DUI, although they carry varying degrees of intoxication. Simply, if you’re operating any apparatus or piece of equipment that propels you or assists in traveling – while under the influence – you can be charged with an Michigan OWI.
Michigan OWI Penalties
IMPORTANT: IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING YOUR ARREST – REGARDLESS OF THE CONTENT OF THE ARRESTING OFFICER’S REPORT AND YOUR INITIAL BAC RESULTS – YOU HAVE 14 DAYS TO REQUEST YOUR APPEAL HEARING WITH THE MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE. CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED MICHIGAN OWI ATTORNEY TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR HEARING AND HELP SAVE YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE.
If you are convicted of a first-time Michigan OWI, you can expect to pay a maximum of $500 in fines, and can be incarcerated for up to 93 days in jail! Additionally, you will have to complete 45 days of community service and will need to install and pay for the installation and monthly calibration fees for a ignition interlock device on all the vehicles that your drive. The Michigan SOS will seek to suspend your driver’s license for 1 year.
If this is your 2nd Michigan OWI, there is a mandatory minimum that you spend 5 days in jail, and possibly up to one year! You’ll pay anywhere from $500 all the way up to $1,000 in fines, depending on the circumstances of your case. Michigan does not have a “look-back period.” Whether you got your 2nd OUI a month from your first one or 30 years from your first one, it’s still charged as a second offense. Clearly, Michigan OWI law ups the stakes for repeat offenders. Speak with a Michigan OWI attorney immediately to help you avoid the enhanced penalties for multiple offenders.
Michigan OWI Lawyers
An arrest for Michigan OWI does not necessarily equal a Michigan OWI conviction. Michigan OWI attorneys defend OWI offenses and drunk driving cases in Michigan. A good Michigan OWI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases. Michigan OWI attorneys will be able to offer you OWI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal OWI charges and the hearing with Michigan SOS.
General Michigan OWI Information
Another penalty that is often overlooked is your driver’s insurance. If you’re convicted of a Michigan OWI, you will have to get what is called an SR-22 insurance. Your Michigan OWI attorney can discuss what SR-22 is in more detail and what it can potentially cost you.