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Michigan OWPCS Charges

Under Michigan state law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you have any trace of a controlled substance in your body. Law enforcement officers typically use blood tests to determine the presence of drugs in OWI suspects, but urine tests can also be used.  Both tests are  problematic if you understand the detection times of certain Schedule 1 drugs, which is why it is very important to contact a Michigan DUI drug lawyer immediately.

Illicit Drug Detection Times

Many drugs are detectable in the body long after the intoxicating effects of the drug have passed. Marijuana, for example, typically has an intoxicating effect that lasts for a few hours at most, but marijuana metabolites can be detected in a blood or urine sample as long as 30 days after consumption. This means that, under Michigan’s current OWI laws, a person who smoked a small amount of marijuana a month ago could still be convicted of driving under the influence.

Medical Marijuana Program

Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, licensed medical marijuana users will not be prosecuted under the Operating With a Presence of Controlled Substance (OWPCS) statute. However, a clear distinction has not yet been made to determine what constitutes “under the influence” for the purpose of enforcing the statute.


The penalties for a first-time OWPCS conviction are essentially the same as the penalties for a first OWI offense. The penalties include:

  • A fine between $100 and $500
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of mandatory community service
  • Suspension of driver’s license for 30 days plus 150 days of license restriction
  • Six points assessed on driving record
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two years