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At ArborYpsi Law, we have represented first-time offenders to fifth-timers, so we understand the process and the law.
Learn More about DUI Law
In Michigan, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol content above .08 or be under the influence of alcohol. Drivers face higher consequences with a blood alcohol content of .17 or above.
The blood alcohol content is established by a chemical test, either through a breath test or a blood draw. A person is considered to be intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above.
A person can also be convicted of operating while intoxicated if the person was ‘under the influence’ of alcohol. Under the influence means a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened by alcohol.
A person may not operate a vehicle with any amount of a schedule 1 substance or cocaine in a person’s system. Whether the person is affected by that drug doesn’t matter.
A person may also not operate a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. Such substances might include sedatives, painkillers, or amphetamines. However, simply having a controlled substance (not schedule 1) in the system is not enough for a person to be guilty. The person must be “under the influence” of the drug as well.
In addition, the law makes it illegal to drive under the influence of an “intoxicating substance.”
The definition of ‘intoxicating substance’ is broad. The term includes many substances most people would not consider a traditional drug.
Operating While Visibly Impaired
Operating while visibly impaired is another type of charge. The term ‘visibly impaired’ means a person drove with less ability than an ordinary careful driver. This charge is a lesser offense of operating while intoxicated. The penalties for an OWVI conviction are a little less than for an OWI conviction.