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Michigan Drunk Charges


Some people in Michigan, even those with no prior criminal record, end up in a jail cell or enter a courtroom for the first time because they are charged with being drunk or drugged while driving. It is usually a very stressful and scary time when the police pull you over. It is important to be aware of the laws in Michigan regarding alcohol and drugs in your system while driving a vehicle. 


The Kronzek Firm’s attorneys have decades of experience successfully defending clients against drunk driving charges and drugged 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 by calling 866-7NoJail. The sooner you get experienced representation, the sooner we can start work on building a strong, unique defense for you.


Underaged Drinking / Drugged Driving

Michigan has a zero tolerance policy for underaged drinking or drugged driving. This means that if you are under the age of 21, you cannot drive with any amount of alcohol or controlled substance in your system. 


Operating While Intoxicated

Michigan law states that a driver over the age of 21 may not have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.08%. Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and the common term of drunk driving all accuse an individual of driving a vehicle in a public area while intoxicated. Evidence of intoxication can be found when a driver’s BAC is .08% or above, or if they are driving in an unreasonable or unsafe manner because of alcohol or drug consumption. More information on operating while intoxicated can be found on this page.


Impaired Driving

Here in Michigan, when a driver is facing criminal charges for “operating while visibly impaired”, it means their driving has been visibly impaired due to alcohol or drug consumption. When that happens, it often means that police will be on the scene. A criminal conviction for impaired driving does not require that the driver be over Michigan’s legal limit .08% for drunk driving. The prosecutor only has to prove that the driver was operating a vehicle with less ability than a reasonable driver would have done without consuming alcohol or drugs. You can read more about impaired driving cases here.


Super Drunk Driving

There is an separate charge for driving with an amount of alcohol in your system that is much beyond the legal limit. This is called super drunk driving, and it is a fairly recent addition to Michigan drunk driving law. A person is considered to be super drunk driving if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at or above 0.17%, which is double or more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system. This charge can result in significantly increased penalties, including twice the amount of jail time and doubled fines. Additional information on super drunk driving can be found on this page


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 term refers to a driver who is over our state’s legal limit for alcohol or is under the influence of another controlled or intoxicating substance in a way that substantially affects the ability to drive safely. 

DUI – Driving Under the Influence.

While this term is commonly used, the proper legal term is OWI but is more commonly used. It means the same thing, that a driver cannot be over the legal limit for alcohol or under the influence of other controlled or intoxicating substances that similarly impact safe driving. When charged with a DUI, the police furnish you with a new set of bracelets to wear for a while. 

OWVI – Operating While Visibly Impaired.

This means that because of alcohol consumption or a controlled or intoxicating substance, a person’s driving can be determined to be unreasonable or unsafe just by observations of poor driving. The levels required in an OWI do not apply to an OWVI. 

OWPD – Operating With the Presence of Drugs.

This simply means that someone was driving with drugs in their system. All that must be proven is that the driver had any quantity of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or Cocaine in their body.

OUIL – Operating Under the Influence of Liquor.

There is no longer a charge of OUIL as it has been replaced with OWI in Michigan. 

OUID – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs.

Often called drugged driving, this formal charge means that you cannot operate a vehicle under the influence of any Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drugs. 

DWI – Driving While Intoxicated

Meaning the same thing as Michigan’s OWI or DUI charge, this term is used in the penal codes of other states.


Call 866 7NO JAIL For Help With Mid-Michigan DUI Charges

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 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. (866-7NoJail) We’ve been fighting drunk driving cases since the last century. 


More information on Drunk Driving charges

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