There are two ways to be a drunk driver in Michigan. The first is to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a violation of MCL 257.625. There’s no set level of blood alcohol content that you need to have in order to be a drunk driver in Michigan. If alcohol influences your ability to drive, you can be a drunk driver at a .02. In that case, law enforcement needs to be able to prove that alcohol influenced your ability to drive.

The other way to get a DUI or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in Michigan is to operate a vehicle with an unlawful bodily alcohol content. That means that it’s unlawful to operate a vehicle with more than .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath in your system.

There’s no specific legal limit for operating while under the influence of drugs. Scientists haven’t been able to put their finger on a specific level of drugs that automatically influences a person’s ability to drive. That means that law enforcement has to show that the alcohol influenced their ability to drive. A Traverse City drunk driving attorney can review your case to see what evidence law enforcement has that alcohol or drugs impacted your ability to drive.

If law enforcement thinks that you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can arrest you for operating while intoxicated. In Michigan, drunk driving is called Operating While Intoxicated or OWI. Other states call it driving under the influence, DUI or driving while intoxicated, DWI. No matter what it’s called, a conviction for drunk driving has serious consequences. You can spend significant time in jail. A first offense can bring you up to 93 days in jail. You can spend up to a year in jail for a second offense and a third offense or more is a felony.

A drunk driving charge Traverse City can also lead to a suspension of your driver’s license. This can make it hard or you to get to work or take care of your family. You might have to serve significant time on probation which can make it hard to get to work.

If you’re facing a drunk driving charge Grand Traverse or a DUI in Leelanau, Kalkaska, Antrim, Wexford or Benzie counties, we can help. We can review your case to see if law enforcement made errors that calls their investigation into question. We can see if they violated your constitutional rights. In some cases, we can negotiate to get the charges reduced. This can save your driver’s license, keep you out of jail and save you a bundle on fines.

If you’re facing a Northern Michigan drunk driving charge, don’t go it alone. We have years of experience at all levels of Northern Michigan courts. Let’s work together to defend your case to the fullest extent of the law. Call us today for a free consultation.