Driving while impaired can incur many legal penalties, according to Michigan.gov, which explains that driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is a serious offense. As a result, it is important for all motorists to understand possible charges and their accompanying penalties.
This guide explains the type of charges that can result from an impaired driving offense. If you plan on drinking, the best option is to designate a driver or use a ride-share service to avoid all possible penalties.
Operating while intoxicated (OWI)
If a chemical test returns a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, you can receive an OWI charge. Penalties can increase if you are driving with a BAC of 0.17% or higher. You can also receive a charge if alcohol or other substances appear to inhibit your driving ability.
Operating while visibly impaired (OWVI)
OWVI uses a driver’s visible impairment when filing criminal charges. Accordingly, a person can receive an OWVI charge without chemical testing. Instead, police look for signs of impairment, including swerving, failure to stop at traffic lights, and driving at the wrong speed.
Underage 21 operating with any bodily alcohol content
Laws are a bit different for drivers under the age of 21. In this case, a motorist can receive a charge for driving with a BAC between 0.02% to 0.07%. However, any evidence of alcohol consumption can result in a charge for underage drivers due to Michigan’s zero-tolerance policy.
Keep in mind that Michigan has an implied consent law, which means you consent to chemical testing by simply driving on roads in the state. If you refuse to test, you could face suspended driving privileges, as well as points on your license.