OWVI 1st Offense


OWVI Lawyers Defending Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan Charged with First Offense of Operating While Visibly Impaired

In Michigan, certain legal terms related to drunk driving offenses are interchangeable, as is the case with OWVI (operating while visibly impaired) and OWI (operating while intoxicated). Both of these terms refer to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs or narcotics, or alcohol. At Grabel & Associates, our Michigan OWVI defense attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients across the state charged with a first offense OWVI. We understand the serious consequences those convicted face, and use all of our skill and experience to prevent this outcome when possible.

There is one substantial difference between OWI and OWVI. You can be charged with OWVI regardless of BAC (blood alcohol content), as this charge is based on how the police officer perceives your physical state; in other words, a police officer can allege that it was obvious to him or her that you were impaired to the point that you could not safely operate a vehicle. OWI is a charge considered to be more serious; in most cases, an individual will be charged with this offense after taking a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) that indicates a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the legal limit in Michigan.

Michigan 1st Offense OWVI Penalties

As with most DUI offenses in Michigan, the penalties for those convicted are severe. However, we know that the real consequences of a conviction are those to your reputation, career, and future. A criminal record can negatively impact your life in more ways than you can imagine. If convicted of an OWVI 1st offense, the following penalties may apply:

  • Fine of up to $300
  • Possible jail time, maximum 93 days
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Four points applied to driver record by DMV
  • Payment of $500 driver responsibility fee for two consecutive years
  • Possible vehicle immobilization
  • Criminal misdemeanor on your permanent record
  • 90 days driver's license restriction (180 days if impaired by controlled substance)

The primary difference between these penalties and those someone convicted of OWI face are the number of points applied to driver record, and driver's license sanctions. A first offense OWVI generally means restricted driving privileges, while an OWI leaves the defendant's license suspended for 30 days. Additionally, the driver’s responsibility fee for a first offense OWI is $1,000, rather than $500. Overall an OWI is a more serious offense.

Contact Grabel & Associates Immediately

While an OWVI 1st offense in Michigan is typically considered a misdemeanor charge, it should still be taken very seriously. A conviction could ruin your career, and make obtaining future employment difficult. Our DUI defense lawyers know that regardless of your innocence or guilt, there are very effective defense tactics that could result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced. Police and prosecutors do make mistakes; for example, the police officer may have pulled you over without reasonable suspicion. Because OWVI cases often rely on the opinion of the police officer regarding how impaired you were, this opinion can certainly be challenged. We will use any errors or "opinions" to your advantage in our efforts to achieve outstanding results.

We are ready to provide you with an effective, vigorous defense in your Michigan first offense OWVI case. Contact us immediately at 1-800-783-4448 for a free evaluation of your case. Contact us online.