Throughout most of the United States, drunk driving offenses are charged as “driving under the influence,” or DUI, or “driving while intoxicated,” or DWI. In Michigan and a few other states, this offense is charged as “operating while intoxicated,” or OWI. Although the terminology is different, the charge is the same: the driver allegedly drove while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher.
Not all OWI charges are the same. Beyond operating a motor vehicle while one’s BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, related charges include:
When you’ve been arrested for OWI, you may face administrative penalties separate from the criminal penalties imposed by the court. These administrative penalties are:
For a first OWI conviction with a BAC below 0.17 percent:
If your BAC was 0.17 percent or higher at the time of your first OWI, you may face a year-long driver’s license suspension, six points on your driver’s license, a mandatory alcohol education course, and an ignition interlock device in your vehicle after a 45-day driver’s license suspension. For a second OWI conviction, your license may be revoked for one year.
Additionally, you may face criminal penalties for an OWI conviction. The exact penalties will depend on your BAC at the time of your arrest and whether you have previous OWI convictions on your record within the past seven years. Criminal penalties can include:
A driver convicted of OWI can also be required to complete an alcohol education course or have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle while on probation.
As you can see, it is definitely in your best interest to avoid an OWI conviction if possible. Legal representation from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help increase your odds of a positive outcome.
If you have been charged with OWI, you can fight the charge to potentially have it lowered or dismissed. To get started on your legal defense strategy with The Law Offices of Bradley J. Friedman, contact our team of experienced OWI defense lawyers to set up your free legal consultation. During your consultation, we will answer your questions and work with you to develop an effective legal defense strategy.
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