Michigan OWI/DUI Laws

Have you been arrested for drunk driving in the state of Michigan? The main drunk driving charge in Michigan is an OWI, or operating while intoxicated. If you have been pulled and ticketed for drunk driving, then you will most likely see the OWI letters across the citation. OWI is one of the more serious drunk driving charges, but there are several other possible charges that you can receive in Michigan including OUIL (operating under the influence of liquor), UBAL (unlawful blood alcohol level), OWVI (operating while impaired), and zero tolerance (underage drunk driving.)

  • With OUIL you must have observation evidence in order to be charged, but it does not require chemical evidences.
  • On the other hand, in order to be charged with UBAL you must have chemical evidence, but observation evidence is not required.
  • OWVI charges mean that your intoxication level was high enough to the point where another driver noticed your inability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • Zero Tolerance charges are only for drivers who are under 21 years of age and are not legally allowed to drink. If an underage driver is found with a BAC of .02 or a police officer finds evidence of alcohol, then they can be charged with drunk driving under the Zero Tolerance Law.

So what is observation evidence and chemical evidence?

Observation evidence includes any behavioral mannerisms or acts that the police officer observed when they pulled you over. This could include swerving, slurring your speech, inability to balance and things of that nature. Chemical evidence is the physical evidence in a case such as breath test results, blood results, or urine test results. Any test that can prove that your BAC level was above .08% can be considered chemical evidence.

If you or someone you know has been charged with any of the above drunk driving offenses in Michigan, then contact J.T. Bowden, Attorney at Law without delay. Speak with a Macomb County OWI lawyer about your case today!


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