Operating While Intoxicated


Michigan OWI Defense Attorneys Representing Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan Accused of OWI

In the state of Michigan, OWI or Operating While Intoxicated is a very serious crime. At Grabel & Associates, our top priority is to protect those who have been accused of OWI from harsh criminal penalties including possible jail time, steep fines, community service, driver’s license suspension, and more. In addition to these penalties, a conviction for Operating While Intoxicated can affect your life in other ways; for example, you may be subject to increased auto insurance rates, and find securing employment difficult.

Fortunately, being charged with this offense does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. There are very specific elements the prosecutor must prove before you can be found guilty. Our Michigan OWI defense attorneys work vigorously to protect our clients from a conviction, and the resulting penalties.

Prosecutors Must Prove Guilt in a Michigan OWI Case

The burden of proving an individual's guilt lies with the prosecution, who may use numerous methods to attempt to secure a conviction. These include:

  • You were operating a motor vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% or higher, the legal limit in Michigan. Also referred to as UBAL (unlawful blood alcohol level).
  • By consuming intoxicating liquor, your ability to safely operate a vehicle was reduced significantly. This is also known as OUIL (operating under the influence of liquor).
  • You were under the influence of alcohol, drugs, (including prescription or illegal narcotics) or both while operating a motor vehicle. Also referred to as OUID (operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs).

Additionally, field sobriety tests are often used by law enforcement in an effort to prove an individual's guilt. These tests are frequently administered to prove that alcohol or drugs affected a person's ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner. Chemical testing in the form of breath, blood, or urine tests are often used as well to determine an individual's blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and whether it above the legal limit.

Potential Penalties for Michigan OWI Conviction

The penalties in Michigan for those convicted on charges of operating while intoxicated are harsh, as we previously mentioned. However, there are many defense strategies which may prove to be effective in defending your rights and preventing a conviction. Our Michigan OWI defense team will thoroughly analyze your case to determine the best possible course of legal action, so that your desired outcome is reached.

Michigan OWI laws provide for the following:

  • Courts are required to decide DUI cases within 77 days of arrest
  • Individuals convicted on a first-time offense face mandatory six month driver's license suspension. After serving 30 days of the suspension, you may be eligible for a restricted license
  • A second conviction for OWI requires you serve five days to one year consecutive jail time, and/or perform 30 to 90 days of community service
  • A first offense of driving on suspended or revoked license requires the individual pay a fine of up to $500; a subsequent offense requires payment of fine of $1,000
  • Hardship appeals are not allowed for repeat or habitual offenders
  • In order to have a driver's license reinstated following suspension or revocation, a $125 reinstatement fee is required
  • If determined to be driving while intoxicated with the presence of cocaine or a Schedule 1 drug, zero tolerance, or child endangerment, a driver responsibility fee of $1,000 must be paid for two consecutive years; driving while impaired in combination with the same factors requires a $500 driver responsibility fee for two consecutive years

Contact Our Michigan Criminal Defense Team Now

Individuals who have been charged with OWI face extremely severe consequences without the legal guidance and skill of an aggressive Michigan OWI lawyer. At Grabel & Associates, we are highly regarded across the state of Michigan for our ability to successfully defend those accused of OWI and other drunk driving offenses.

For outstanding legal representation in your drunk driving case, take action now by calling our toll-free number at 1-800-783-4448. We are available 24/7, ready to provide you with an effective, vigorous defense. Contact us online.