Michigan drunk driving

In Michigan alone, for the 2013 year, over 35,000 people were arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. There are several statutes the state law enforcement officers may use to charge an individual with if they are driving under the influence of a chemical. Typically—people refer to these statutes as Drunk Driving—since they often involved alcohol. The Michigan Vehicle Code (is amended September 24, 2014) MCL 257.625 et seq. sets forth the different notations you may see on a possible ticket related to influenced driving.

257.625f – Implied Consent Suspensions indicates cases where a driver was arrested, refused to submit to a chemical test and, consequently, had his/her drivers license suspended.

257.625(1)(a)(b)(c) – OUIL indicates the combined total of arrests for OUIL (Operating a vehicle while Under the Influence of Liquor), UBAC (Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content), and OUID (Operating a vehicle while Under the Influence of Drugs), and high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

257.625(3) – Impaired indicates arrests for the lesser violation of OWI (Operating While Impaired).

257.625(4) – OWPD or OUIL/OWI Death indicates arrests for Operating With the Presence of Drugs (OWPD) or OUIL/OWI at a crash where a person was killed.

257.625(5) – OUIL/OWI Injury indicates arrests for OUIL/OWI at a crash where a person was seriously injured.

257.625(6) – Zero Tolerance indicates arrests of persons less than 21 years of age that had any BAC.

257.625(7) – Child Endangerment indicates arrests of persons for operating a vehicle while another person who is less than 16 years of age is occupying the vehicle.

257.625(8) – OWPD indicates arrests for OWPD at a crash where a person was killed or seriously injured.

257.625m – CDL Driver .04 indicates arrests for OUIL of commercial vehicle drivers (persons with a Commercial Driver License) who had a Bodily Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.04g to 0.07g.

Above from the data collection public document Michigan 2013 Annual Drunk Driving Audit.

The Stop.
Type 1: The driver is pulled over, after having too much to drink, and the police officer has observed the driver committing a civil infraction and makes the stop. MCL 257.742.

Type 2: The officer makes an investigative stop on suspicion of criminal activity. After approaching the driver, asking for a viewing of the license, the registration, and proof of insurance, the officer may notice signs of intoxication.

The officer will then ask the driver to take a field sobriety test. A preliminary breath test may be used after the driver has taken the field tests. The results may allow the officer to make an arrest. Civil infractions may be charged for refusal to take preliminary breath test. MCL 257.625a(2)(d).

The Arrest.
The driver is officially under arrest when the driver is in the police car, handcuffed, and pronounces the words of arrest. The police must read Miranda rights if the driver is interrogated. Being arrested opens the door for chemical tests, blood tests, or urine tests to determine the intoxicant level. If the driver is not arrested, the chemical tests may be refused; instead then, the officer may request a search warrant.

The Right to Counsel.
The right to counsel during investigations does not attach until the accused is in custodial interrogation or has been formally charged. Michigan courts do allow the reasonable opportunity to call an attorney (with reasonable privacy) before deciding whether or not to submit a voluntary breath test. If the police denied this opportunity, and the driver refuses a test, that is generally viewed as reasonable, therefore the driver’s license should not be suspended.

The Bond.
Drunk drivers, after the driver is in a proper condition, with maximum jail time of 1 year or less are entitled to a bond with the police for release. MCL 780.581(3). Bond must be in cash, and your attorney cannot post bond for you. MCL 600.2665.

Call your attorney as soon as possible! Anything you say can be used against you. Do not sign anything. Be calm and polite at all times.

Generally your attorney will not visit you in jail that day, rather when you are released, your attorney will ask that you come immediately to their office.

Each drunk driving case is different. The surrounding circumstances and the impact of an OWI conviction always varies amongst individuals based on their particular situations. An OWI conviction may impact employment, driving privileges, family, as well as a host of other issues.

An OWI arrest and allegation is often times the most stressful situation in an otherwise law-abiding citizen’s life. As discussed, the impact of a conviction may be very direct and devastating. These situations should not be taken lightly and retaining a competent and knowledgeable attorney is always recommended.