Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)

Quite possibly alcohol and drug related offenses are among the most serious offenses in the United States. An expert OWI lawyer will help the process. Alcohol-related accidents occur every day, and approximately 30 people die every day. For that reason, most states in the United States have implemented strict laws that govern the operation of a vehicle. OWI is a crime that means that a driver is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DWI is a similar crime that involves a person driving vehicle while he or she is intoxicated. 

OWI Laws

For the police to charge a person for a OWI, that person must be operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent. A commercial driver can be charged with OWI if his or her BAC is more than .04 percent. Drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with OWI if they have any alcohol in their systems. The police will use a Breathalyzer test to calculate the suspected party's BAC level. If the test finds the person is intoxicated, then the officer will proceed to charge that person with OWI. In some states, a person who refuses a Breathalyzer test can receive an immediate license suspension. 

The Michigan penalties for OWI charges can affect a defendant in several ways. For example, many of them involve jail time and high fines. A person who is convicted of such a crime may also have to pay higher insurance premiums, take alcohol courses, and deal with a tarnished reputation. Any charges that involve the use of alcohol are serious crimes and should be handled with a reliable attorney such as Zoglio Law. 

When to Hire an Attorney for OWI

Any case involving OWI should involve an attorney. More importantly, subsequent offenses should involve an attorney. The law is not forgiving for second offense OWI charges. Almost all of them have mandatory jail sentences, and their fines are increased drastically. 

How Can an Attorney Help? 

An attorney can help in several ways. First, this person can question the way the police held their investigation. If the attorney finds that an officer made a mistake in the arrest procedure, then he or she can motion for dismissal. A lawyer may also try to prove that his client was not the driver. In cases that a person receives a guilty charge, an attorney can still help by requesting alternative sentencing. Alternative sentencing is special sentencing that keeps the perpetrator out of jail. Examples are community service and suspended sentences. 

Alternate Names for OWI

Some alternate names for OWI include:

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)
  • Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
  • Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVI)

All alternate terms means that the driver is being accused of operating a vehicle in a state of intoxication. Such a crime can involve drugs or alcohol. The only difference between a charge that involves drugs and a charge that involves alcohol is the Breathalyzer test. The Breathalyzer will not give an accurate reading of drug intoxication. 

Contacting an Attorney

A person who receives a charge of drunk driving contact the expert Eaton County DUI attorney David Zoglio. First time offenders in the state of Michigan are subject to spending up to 93 days in jail. Subsequent offenses have a mandatory five-day jail sentence and up to one year in jail. License suspension may be up to one year, and fines could be as high as $500 for a first offense. A reliable attorney will schedule a consultation an explain the defendant's rights.