Michigan laws regarding operating a vehicle while impaired may seem confusing. People typically do not know there are different degrees of offenses until they find themselves facing charges.
It is important to note the difference between OWI offenses. We here at Brandon Gardner & Associates appreciate the magnitude of your situation, and as such, we aim to keep you up to date on how these charges may impact you.
The basics of OWI
An OWI is the Michigan equivalent of a DUI or DWI. It means an officer suspects that a driver is operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The officer may reach this conclusion after observing the driver driving erratically and initiating a traffic stop. Upon questioning, the officer may put the driver through field sobriety testing and ask for a breath or blood test. If these tests come back indicating a BAC of .08 or higher, the driver faces charges of OWI.
The impact of a conviction
If a court finds the driver guilty of an OWI, the penalties range depending on other circumstances. If this is the first conviction of this type, the driver typically gets:
- Restricted license
- Community service
Fine amounts and the time of license suspension hinges upon how impaired he or she was at the time of the stop. In subsequent convictions, license suspension and fine amounts increase. A judge may also order someone previously convicted of OWI to serve time in jail.
An OWI conviction is not ideal for anybody.