Attorneys Explain Detroit OWPD & OUID Cases

Attorneys Explain OWPD & OUID Drug Driving

Our Detroit area attorneys have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with “drugged driving” cases. Here we explain the differences between OWPD, OUID, and the penalties that apply to each type of driving under the influence of drugs.

Keep in mind that this information is general in nature – and the best way to understand how the law applies to your situation is to speak to one of our experienced Detroit OWP attorneys.

OWPD – Illegal / Schedule 1 Drugs

If any Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (even a trace) is found in your blood you can be convicted of OWPD. You do NOT have to appear impaired to be charged.

Schedule 1 Drugs are defined as drugs “having no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.” Schedule 1 drugs include: heroin, LSD, Peyote, Quaaludes, Ecstasy and many more.

Marijuana (cannabis) is also included as a Class 1 drug despite the fact that it is legal in some cities or and can be used as a medicinal drug.

The bottom line is that if ANY Schedule 1 drugs (even trace amounts) are found in your system when you have operated a vehicle you can be charged and convicted of OWPD. Even if you were not driving erratically or dangerously. Unlike OWI which requires a blood alcohol content above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%, in Schedule 1 drug cases, no legal limit exists.

This ultimately means you may be charged with OWPD if you are completely sober and have not taken the drug in days or weeks.

Detroit Michigan OWPD Penalties:

First offense OWPD penalties include up to $500 in fines, up to 93 days in jail, up to 360 hours of community service, 30 day driver’s license suspension (followed by 150 days restricted license),as well as possible ignition interlock and/or possible vehicle immobilization.

Second Offense OWPD sentences include between 5 days and one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, up to 90 days of community service, vehicle immobilization, driver’s license revocation for a minimum of one year, and more.

Third offense OWPD is a felony that potentially carries a sentence of 5 years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, and loss of driving privilege for 5 years or even longer.

For this reason it is important to have a skilled Detroit OWPD attorney handle your case. In some cases they may be able to challenge the traffic stop, the evidence, or even the blood test results. In other cases – where the evidence is simply irrefutable – a skilled Detroit OWPD attorney can usually negotiate a better plea deal that reduces the charges, the penalties and the jail sentence.

OUID – Operating Under the Influence of Drugs
(including Prescriptions)

Even if you have a prescription for the drugs you are taking, you can still be charged with OUID (Operating Under the Influence of Drugs) and/or OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired), if the police officer determines that you are unable to safely drive a motor vehicle.

If you are caught driving while taking OxyContin, Xanax, Percocet, Valium, Ambien or many other prescription medications, you can be charged and convicted. And Unlike OWI which requires a blood alcohol content above Michigan’s legal limit of 0.08%, there is no legal limit for drugs. If the officer thinks you are impaired you can be arrested.

Detroit Michigan OUID Penalties

First offense OUID conviction carries, fines of up to $500, mandatory community service, and as much as 90 days in jail. A second conviction within 7 years of the first carries up to a one-year jail sentence, driver’s license revocation, and fines of up to $1,000.

Third offense OUID – at any point – potentially carries a sentence of 5 years in prison, fines of up to $5,000, and loss of driving privilege for 5 years or even longer.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWPD / OUID Attorney:  800-717-4757

Attorneys Explain Detroit DUI Cases

Attorneys Explain What to Expect in a Detroit DUI Case

Our Detroit area lawyers have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with their DUI cases. Here we explain how the process typically works from beginning to end in a Detroit DUI case.

Keep in mind that this information is general in nature – and the best way to understand how the law applies to your situation is to speak to one of our experienced Detroit DUI attorneys.

Getting Pulled Over for DUI in Detroit

In Michigan it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%. Typically you will be asked to take a “Breathalyzer” test. Because of Michigan’s “implied consent law” if you refuse to take the Breathalyzer Test, your drivers’ license will be automatically suspended for 1 year and 6 points will be added to your driving record – in addition to any additional penalties and fines.

Additionally, Michigan’s Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law means you can still be charged with a drunk driving offense, even if you do NOT have a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

If the officer has “probable cause” to believe you are impaired and unable to drive safely you can be arrested. A field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of erratic driving, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or empty containers may all be enough for the police to charge you with OWVI.

After being arrested for drunk driving, you will typically be taken to the police station for further BAC testing using a Datamaster device. You will generally be held overnight, then arraigned the next day.

Arraignments in Detroit DUI Cases

Your arraignment is where you appear in Court and will be advised of the charges against you, your legal rights, and the possible penalties you are facing.

This is where you are formally charged. If you have already been convicted of operating while intoxicated within the last seven years, you may be charged with a 2nd offense. Two or more prior convictions will result in a 3rd offense.

Second and third offenses have increasingly higher fines and longer possible jail sentences. Third offenses for drunk driving are also generally felonies.

At your arraignment a bond will be set and you will be released when you or someone else pays the bond on your behalf.

Having an attorney present at the arraignment is wise if at all possible, Often times an attorney can get your bond substantially reduced.

Pre-Trial Conference in Detroit DUI Cases

A pre-trial conference will be scheduled before you “go to trial” – regardless of whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. This is where it gets quite complicated and it is highly advisable to have an experienced attorney representing you.

At the pre-trial conference the Judge, the prosecutor and your attorney will address several issues that will affect the outcome of your trial. A “motion” regarding what “evidence” can be used against you may be presented. A skilled attorney can sometimes get evidence (or even the entire case) “thrown out” at the pre-trial IF the facts and evidence are in your favor.

At this stage of the process, an experienced DUI attorney may also attempt to negotiate the possibility of a favorable “plea bargain” – in order to get you either reduced charges and/or reduced penalties. The Judges and prosecutors in Detroit may often want to avoid a trial – and so an experienced DUI attorney can often work out a “deal” for you.

Going to Trial in Detroit DUI Cases

If you do not work out a deal and accept a plea bargain, your drunk driving case will be scheduled for trial. You and your attorney may request a “jury Trial” or a “Bench Trial” that is heard by a Judge without a jury.

In Detroit, seven jurors will be selected if you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense – and 13 jurors will be selected if you are charged with a felony DUI offense. An experienced DUI attorney will try to select the “best” jurors that may be most sympathetic to your situation – and try to dismiss jurors that appear prejudiced against your situation in any way.

The trial will then start. The prosecuting attorney will have the burden of demonstrating each element of the crime you are charged with “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Knowledge of Court procedures and an understanding of the law is essential – so it is almost impossible to win if you represent yourself at trial. However a skilled DUI attorney can help “prove” your case – and challenge or discredit the prosecutor’s evidence.

After the trial the Jury (or Judge in a bench trial) will deliberate for a while and then return a verdict. If you are found guilty (convicted) of the DUI offense, your case will proceed to the sentencing phase.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWI / DUI Attorney:  800-717-4757

Detroit Lawyers Answer DUI FAQs

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyers Answer DUI FAQs

Our Detroit area lawyers have helped hundreds of clients in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County with their DUI cases. Here we answer some Frequently Asked Questions about DUI charges in Detroit.

What are the different drunk driving crimes in Detroit?

Drunk driving or “DUI” laws are the same across the entire state of Michigan. Prosecutors in Michigan may charge an individual with:

one of three “drunk driving” offenses (OWI, UBAC/UBAL, and OWVI); and/or
a “drugged driving” charge (OWPD); and/or
special charges (OWI Causing Serious Injury or death; OWI With Children Present).
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is charged if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above the legal limit of 0.08% and your ability to drive safely is affected by alcohol.

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) is charged if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely and you do NOT need to have a BAC of 0.08 or above to be charged. Usually a field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of you driving are enough.

Operating With Any Presence of Drugs (OWPD) is charged if any Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (even a trace) is found in your blood. You do NOT have to appear impaired to be charged.

What does DUI Zero Tolerance Law mean?

Michigan’s Zero Tolerance Law applies to drivers under 21 years old. Minors are not allowed to buy, have in their possession, or consume alcohol. If they are found with any alcohol in a vehicle―even unopened, and/or even off the road or in a parking lot, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Minors with a BAC of 0.02% or greater, will also be arrested – and face 4 points on their license if found guilty of the charge.

What if Happens if I Refused the Breathalyzer Test?

Michigan has something called an “implied consent law” which means that if you drive you automatically agree to taking breathalyzer tests when stopped. So if a person is arrested on any DUI offense and they refuse to take the Breathalyzer Test, their license will be automatically suspended for 1 year and 6 points will be added to their driving record – in addition to any additional penalties and fines.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test twice within seven (7) years results in a two year drivers’ license suspension by the Michigan Secretary of State.

If I Pass the Breathalizer Test in a DUI Stop am I Free to Go?

Unfortunately, passing a breathalyzer test does not automatically mean you are “off the hook.” Michigan’s Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law means you can still be charged if the officer decides that you weren’t able to drive safely – even if you do NOT have a BAC of 0.08 or above. Usually a field sobriety test and/or the officer’s observation of your driving are used in these cases.

You cannot be arrested for DUI unless a police officer has “probable cause” – which basically means “good reason to believe you are impaired”. However erratic driving, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or empty containers may all be enough for the police to charge you with OWVI – even if you “passed” the breathalyzer.

Free Consultation with Detroit OWI / DUI Attorney:  800-717-4757