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Michigan Drunk Charges


For many people, the first time they set foot in a jail cell or cross the threshold into a courtroom, it will be because of a drunk driving charge. It is usually a very stressful and scary time. Many Michigan people with no prior criminal record end up facing a judge for the first time because they are charged with being drunk or drugged while they are driving.


Michigan Law states that a driver over the age of 21 may not have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of more than 0.08. Exceeding this legal limit causes a legal presumption that they are too intoxicated to drive legally. If the driver is under the age of 21, they are not allowed to drive in Michigan with any quantity of alcohol in their system because Michigan has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underaged drinking and driving.


The Kronzek Firm’s attorneys have decades of experience successfully defending clients against drunk driving charges. If you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving, impaired driving, being “super drunk” or any DUI related charge, we can help you. Contact us immediately. The sooner you get aggressive representation, the sooner we can start work on building a strong, unique defense for you.


Operating While Intoxicated

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is sometimes referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being charged with OWI or DUI means that you are accused of operating a vehicle in a public area while intoxicated. Intoxication can be proven by the driver having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above, or driving in an unreasonable or unsafe manner as a result of the alcohol or drugs that they have consumed. For more information on operating while intoxicated, please read this.


Operating While Visibly Impaired

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), also called impaired driving, is when a driver is accused of driving in an unsafe way because of drugs or alcohol. A driver does not have to be over the legal limit in order to be charged with OWVI. In this case, the burden of proof falls to the prosecutor, who must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, because of alcohol or drugs, a driver drove with less ability than would a reasonable driver. For more information on operating while visibly impaired, please read this.


Super Drunk Driving

Super Drunk Driving is a fairly recent addition to Michigan drunk driving law. It refers to someone having a Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) of 0.17, which is double or more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system. People charged with super drunk driving face significantly increased penalties, including twice the amount of jail time and doubled fines. For more information on super drunk driving, please read this.


Drugged Driving:

Operating With the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) and Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID) are both examples of drugged driving charges. While they do not mean the same thing, and require different evidence in court to substantiate the charge, they both carry the same penalties. For more information on drugged driving, please read this.


Common Drunk Driving Acronyms:

OWI – Operating While Impaired. This is the term currently used in the Michigan penal code to refer to a driver who is over the state’s legal limit for alcohol, and therefore is too drunk to drive.


DUI – Driving Under the Influence. This term is also commonly used in Michigan, and is often used interchangeably with the term OWI. It refers to the same thing – that the driver was over the legal limit and, as a result, too intoxicated to be driving.


OWVI – Operating While Visibly Impaired. This simply means that a person was driving in an unreasonable or unsafe manner as a result of drugs or alcohol in their system.


OWPD – Operating With the Presence of Drugs. This means that someone was driving with drugs in their system. In this case, the prosecution only has to prove that the driver had any quantity of a Schedule 1 controlled substance, or Cocaine, in their body.


OUIL – Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. This term was used in Michigan law some years ago, but has since been replaced with OWI.


OUID – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs. While similar to OWPD, this means that the prosecution has to prove that the driver operated a vehicle in a manner that was unreasonable or unsafe due to the influence of drugs.


DWI – Driving While Intoxicated, while it means the same thing as Michigan’s OWI or DUI charge, it is a term used in the penal codes of other states.


At The Kronzek Firm, our experienced Michigan DUI lawyers defend clients against charges for drunk driving, DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI and all other drug and alcohol related arrests. These are very serious crimes and require an experienced and attorney with significant training in drunk driving defense as well as tenacity working to defend and protect the rights of their clients. If you or a loved one are facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact us immediately at 1 866-766-5245. We can help.


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