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Lapeer County DUI Drug Lawyer

Charges of drugged driving can be particularly confusing, especially due to changes in legislation regarding the use of certain drugs. However, despite changes to the law, you could still face DUI charges for driving while under the influence of drugs.

If you face these charges, a Lapeer County DUI drug attorney could provide the answers that you need. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could diligently work to defend you against allegations of wrongdoing. While facing criminal charges is frightening, you do not have to defend yourself alone.

DUI Drug Charges in Lapeer County

Three sections of the law related to drugged driving. These different offenses have equivalent penalties but may pertain to different drugs or require a different standard of proof for a conviction. A Lapeer County DUI drug attorney can help differentiate between the potential criminal charges related to a specific situation.

Operating with the Presence of Drugs (OWPD)

Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625(8) makes it unlawful for drivers to have any traceable amount of a Schedule I drug or cocaine in their systems. Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, ecstasy, and possibly marijuana, among others. These substances follow the classification system adopted in the federal Controlled Substances Act. There is no required level of impairment for an OWPD. Instead, any trace amount of these drugs, as demonstrated by a chemical test, could lead to charges or a conviction.  As of the date of this article marijuana remains a Schedule I drug on both the state and federal drug schedules, however, marijuana may be removed from one or both schedules soon.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Similarly, under Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625(1), individuals may not operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. This includes intoxication from alcohol, any controlled substance, or any other intoxicating substance. This governs driving under the influence of drugs other than Schedule I controlled substances and cocaine.

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)

Mich. Comp. Laws § 257.625(3) makes it illegal to operate motor vehicles while visibly impaired due to alcohol, a controlled substance, or any intoxicating substance. In order to convict a charge of OWVI, the prosecution must present evidence of visible impairment.

Possible Penalties for a First-Time Offense

The penalties for drunk driving and drug-impaired driving convictions are nearly identical. A first-time OWVI or OWPD misdemeanor conviction could lead to:

  • Jail sentence, not to exceed 93 days
  • Community service, not to exceed 360 hours
  • License suspension of 30 days and a restricted license for 150 days
  • Fines up to $500

Individuals convicted of a first OWVI or OWPD offense will also accrue six points on their license, and the court may impose the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of driving. In some cases, the court may immobilize or ask convicted people to forfeit their vehicles. This could impact the ability to travel freely or attend work and school.

Second or Subsequent Drug Impaired Driving Offenses

The court may impose more serious penalties for a second drug DUI conviction. These penalties may include:

  • Five days to one year of incarceration
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • License revocation for at least one year

The penalties for a first offense may also apply, including required community service hours, ignition interlock device installation, and the immobilization or forfeiture of vehicles. Any of these penalties could inhibit the ability of a person to work and have significant financial consequences. As a DUI drug lawyer in Lapeer County can explain, the penalties for drug DUI convictions only increase as individuals accrue additional convictions.

Let a Lapeer County DUI Drug Attorney Help

A Lapeer County DUI drug lawyer can assess the evidence against you, evaluate any potential defenses that may apply in your case, and help you develop a strong overall defense strategy. With experienced legal guidance, you could mitigate the serious penalties that may result from charges of a drug DUI. Reach out to an attorney today to discuss any charges you face in greater detail.