Northern Michigan OWI/DUI Law

Good people can make mistakes. This is often the case for a person charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Michigan. Sometimes a person has just a few too many and has a lapse in judgment. Suddenly, this person who has never been on the wrong side of the law finds themselves faced with serious fines, a loss of driving privileges, and potential jail time. At Ross Hickman Law Office, we understand how difficult these charges can be and will work to provide the accused with the most effective representation possible.

Michigan actually has several different laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They include:

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
  • Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)

While all of these are slightly different, they all are very serious crimes that require the attention of a skilled Northern Michigan OWI/DUI lawyer right away.

OWVI occurs when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and it is causing their driving to be impaired. This can occur because a person is swerving, speeding, or otherwise not traveling safely on the roadways based on an officer’s observation. It is not necessary to show that a person has more than a .08 BAC content in order to be charged with this. Rather, if police can prove that a person has used drugs or alcohol and they are in that person’s system affecting their driving, they can face a charge of OWVI.

OWI is perhaps the charge that most people are familiar with. Often referred to as a DWI in other states, you can be charged with OWI in Michigan if you are driving with a BAC of .08 or higher (for a person under 21, there is a zero tolerance law, meaning .02 or higher will result in an OWI charge). If a person has been charged with a “High BAC” OWI, meaning they had a BAC of .17 or higher, they will face even stiffer penalties.

OWPD occurs when a person is found to have any illegal substance in their blood while driving. Section 7212 of the Michigan Public Health Code lays out the extensive number of substances considered a Schedule 1 drug in Michigan. Regardless of whether or not your driving was actually impaired, if you have any amount of these substances in your body, you will face an OWPD charge.

All of these crimes are very serious and all require an experienced Traverse City OWI/DUI lawyer. For a first time offender charged with OWI or OWPD, a person faces the following penalties:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • 360 hours of community service
  • $100-500 fine
  • License suspension for 30 days, with a 150 day license restriction
  • Driver responsibility fee of $1000 for 2 consecutive years ($500 per year with OWPD)

If you are found to have a BAC of .17 or higher, you can face 180 days in jail, $200-700 fine, and 1 year license suspension or the installation of an ignition interlock. Penalties for OWVI differ slightly but are essentially the same.

For a second offense and subsequent offenses, the penalties become even more severe. In order to fight these serious charges, a person needs an experienced, aggressive Michigan OWI attorney. Ross Hickman Law Office has over 30 years experience handling OWI cases, both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He is qualified to handle the most serious drunk driving offenses and will provide th vigorous representation you deserve.

Contact a Northern Michigan OWI/DUI Lawyer Today

Call (800) 424-LAWS for Legal Consultation