Fighting for Your Rights Nationwide
Driving under the influence, or operating while intoxicated, is a heavy charge to face. From the moment you are pulled over, you may be fearing for the worst. Suspension or revocation of your license and a marred record are the first things on your mind. Driving is an incredibly important freedom and opportunity for many people, allowing us to commute to work and school, complete daily tasks, and make day-to-day life easier for the average working American.
That can all change in an instant when you are facing a DUI or OWI charge – but it doesn’t have to. Oliver Law Group P.C. has a successful track record in Michigan for defending those accused of driving under the influence – and we do not stop until we have results. We know these charges can be overwhelming. That is why we are here to help you get back on your feet and back on the road.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, it’s time to call our Troy DUI attorneys. You can also contact us online.
Understanding DUI & OWI
Driving under the influence is the longhand version of a DUI, a commonly used term. Operating while intoxicated – often shortened to OWI – is the official legal term for being charged with drunk driving in Michigan. More formally, an OUI charge means you’ve been accused of driving with a substance in your system that has impaired your ability to safely operate the vehicle. Whatever you call your charge, you need legal representation in order to keep your license and driving record free from harm.
Michigan’s Legal Limits
BAC, or blood alcohol content, measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s bloodstream. If you are at or over the legal drinking age, you may face an OWI charge if your BAC is 0.08 or higher. It is lower if the person is below the age of 21, standing at 0.02. Alcohol metabolizes and is absorbed uniquely by every individual, and is heavily influenced by that person’s weight, gender, age, and the strength of the alcohol consumed.
Naturally, the stronger the alcohol, the more it will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Time is also a factor. Someone who has consumed four drinks over a period of several hours will have had time to process the alcohol, versus someone who has consumed four drinks in an hour. In addition, if a person who weighs 100 pounds consumes four drinks over a long period of time, versus someone of a heavier stature, their BAC may still be too high for the legal limit by the time the keys are in their hands. It is also possible for BAC to rise after drinking. Even though you may feel as if you are sobering up, your BAC could still be on the rise.
Are Sobriety Tests Mandatory?
When you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities will more than likely want to administer a breath test to test your blood alcohol content. You may refuse, but you may also face consequences. Your driver’s license is automatically at risk, as this is seen as an admission of guilt. You could potentially face up to a year of suspension, leaving you without transportation and a marred driving record.
However, you have the option to appeal. The 14 Day Rule applies in this state, which means you are given 14 days after the date of your suspension to appeal the action.
Standardized OWI Tests
When someone is pulled over and suspected of driving while intoxicated, the officer investigating will want to administer standardized field sobriety tests. These are meant to judge how competent the driver is at the time of testing and if they are safe to be behind the wheel. Substances such as alcohol impair one’s ability to divide attention evenly between mental and physical tasks. Reaction time is slowed, which is incredibly dangerous when operating a vehicle.
Officers will check for signs of impairment with tests that claim to be able to gauge the level of safe driving capability an individual has when suspected of driving intoxicated.