On Jan. 20, 2013, Michigan State Police for the Seventh District tweeted about an incident that had occurred the night prior involving two women being arrested in Gaylord for OWI (1). OWI refers to the term “Operating While Intoxicated,” a criminal offense a person can be charged with if they operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher.
The stop initially started with a woman police believed had been driving under the influence. After having been stopped, the woman then called a friend for help. To her surprise, the friend she phoned was also placed under arrest and charged with OWI. What happened?
According to officers, both women were intoxicated and “had been drinking together earlier while playing trivia.”
What are the penalties for OWI in Michigan?
If a person is charged with drunk driving, which may be documented as OWI, DUI, or DWI, there are a number of penalties they could face. If you were charged with any type of alcohol-related offense, it’s a good idea to speak with Michigan DWI lawyers immediately so that you can gain a better understanding of your charges.
In Michigan, when a person is charged with OWI and their BAC level is below .17% and it is their first offense, they may be hit with the following penalties (2):
- Having to spend up to 93 days in jail.
- Having to pay a fine of up to $500.
- Lose their license for up to 180 days.
- Have six points added to their driver’s license.
- Perform up to 360 hours of community service.
If a person’s BAC level is .17% or higher and it is their first offense, the penalties increase to the following:
- Face a fine of up to $700.
- Serve up to 360 hours of community service.
- Receive six points on their driving record.
- Lose their license for up to one year.
- Spend up to 180 days in jail.
- Complete a mandatory alcohol treatment program.
Those who lose their license as a result of driving drunk may qualify for a restricted driver’s license, though they will likely need to have an ignition interlock device installed inside their vehicle. An ignition interlock device requires drivers to test their BAC level before their vehicle will start.
Speak with a criminal attorney to learn more about the charges you are up against.
DWIs and OWIs are serious charges that can stain your record and potentially cause you to lose out on future opportunities. If you’d like help fighting your charges or potentially getting them reduced through a plea deal, now is the time to speak with a Michigan DWI lawyer.
The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. is a DWI law firm located in Lansing that can help you understand the charges you’re facing and what your options may be. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone nor are you advised to. If you’d like to schedule a time to speak with DWI attorney Stuart R. Shafer, you can do so by calling 517-487-6603.
Have questions about this article or a legal concern? Call 800-672-3103.
The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. can be reached at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906