Northern Michigan OWI/DUI Defense Lawyer
Representing Drivers in Traverse City & Beyond
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 my firm, Ross Hickman Law Office, I understand how difficult these charges can be and work to provide the accused with effective representation. When you choose my firm, your case is in good hands.
Drunk Driving Laws in Michigan
Michigan has several different laws regarding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including:
- 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 DUI lawyer right away.
Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
OWVI occurs when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and it impairs their driving. 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.
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
OWI is 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.
Operating with Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug (OWPD)
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.
As a first-time offender charged with OWI or OWPD, you could face:
- 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 two 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, a $200-700 fine, and a one-year license suspension or the installation of an ignition interlock. Penalties for OWVI differ slightly but are essentially the same. For a second or subsequent offense, the penalties become even more severe.
Consult with Ross Hickman Law Office
To fight these serious charges, you need an experienced Northern Michigan OWI attorney. I have over 30 years of experience handling OWI cases, both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. I am qualified to handle the most serious drunk driving offenses and will provide the vigorous representation you deserve.
Call (231) 399-3144 now to request a free consultation.