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Northville DUI Lawyer 

A charge that involves operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of any alcohol or other impairment may not be unusual, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly.

Because of potential danger to the public, lawmakers increasingly raise the penalties and lower the thresholds involved in DUI scenarios so that it is easier than ever before to run afoul of the legal limits. This is true for all intoxicated driving cases, including those involving alcohol and other drugs like marijuana.

The results can be highly disruptive at best, involving driver’s license suspension, substantial fines and fees, and even potential jail time. An experienced Northville DUI lawyer who understands the current laws and legal defenses can advise on the best course of action to take based on the circumstances of your case.

Operating While Intoxicated

Although most jurisdictions use the terms “driving under the influence” (DUI) or “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) in their impaired driving laws, Michigan statutes refer to the offense as “operating while intoxicated” or OWI.

The intoxication can be caused by alcohol or any other drug including marijuana. The following conduct is prohibited:

  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol
  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance, other intoxicating substances, or a combination of substances
  • Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or more based on a blood, breath or urine test operating a motor vehicle when the ability to operate is visibly impaired by alcohol or another substance
  • Operating a motor vehicle with any amount of certain designated controlled substances are in the system, sometimes including marijuana
  • The owner of a motor vehicle knowingly allowing another intoxicated or impaired individual to drive that vehicle

If you have been charged with a DUI under any of the previously listed circumstances, it is vital to contact a Northville OWI lawyer.

Circumstances That Lower the Threshold

Certain drivers may be found to be guilty of an OWI violation even if they are not visibly impaired or their BAC level is below .08 percent.

Drivers under the age of 21 are subject to a “zero tolerance” policy, which sets a limit of .02% BAC level for a finding of intoxication and specifically prohibits a minor from operating a motor vehicle with “[a]ny presence of alcohol within a person’s body resulting from the consumption of alcoholic liquor, other than consumption of alcoholic liquor as a part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony. (Michigan Comp. Laws Ann. §257.625(6)(b), emphasis added.)

Those driving commercial motor vehicles will be found in violation of the law at a BAC level of .04%. If found guilty of a DWI offense, they risk losing commercial driving privileges even if the offense involves a personal vehicle.

Also, for non-card holders, drivers with any amount of marijuana, meaning THC, in their blood.

Circumstances That Increase the Penalties

The following situations will increase the penalties in an OWI case:

  • The driver is found to have a BAC level of .17% or more
  • The driver has been found guilty of a similar offense within the past seven years
  • A passenger under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle
  • Operation of the vehicle causes injury or death to another

The penalties of such a seemingly minor offense can be extensive. The right DUI lawyer in Northville, MI understands the depth of the penalties on a person’s life and can assist an individual fight against them.

Advice and Counsel from a DUI Attorney

Even in situations where a driver is charged with a first offense and no passengers, injuries or excessive BAC level are involved, the court can impose a sentence of up to three months in prison and a fine of up to $500, plus a license suspension for up to six months. And the penalties only increase from there.

So in every case involving OWI laws, it is crucial to work with a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Northville to build the best possible defense.  Call us today to put our experience to work for you.