Drunk Driving DUI/OWI Defense

The Law Offices of Joseph A. Simon aggressively defends drunk driving DUI/OWI charges in Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, Saline, Chelsea, Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and the surrounding counties of Lenawee, Livingston, Jackson, and Wayne.

Michigan prosecutions for driving under the influence are “Operating While Intoxicated” or “OWI” prosecutions.  Generally, charges for OWI can be brought for operating a motor vehicle in a place generally open to the public with either a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater, or if alcohol has materially and substantially affected a motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle in a normal manner.  Most people don’t realize the harsh consequences that can result from an OWI conviction.  In Michigan, these convictions are not eligible for first-offender deferred judgment programs, and remain on a person’s record forever.  Driver license sanctions include suspensions, driver responsibility fees, and points assessed against a master driving record.  Repeat offenses are severely punished, with the possibility of vehicle immobilization and/or forfeiture, and in some instances, mandatory jail sentences. Since 2007, a person charged with a 3rd or subsequent offense in their lifetime can be charged with a felony.

FAQs:

 

  • Can I be charged if my blood alcohol level is less than .08?  Yes.  If alcohol has materially and substantially affected a motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle in a normal manner, or if a motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle is visibly impaired by alcohol, DUI/OWI charges can still be rendered.

  • Can I be charged if I’m not under the influence but have an illegal drug in my system?  Yes.  In Michigan, if a motorist operates a vehicle with the mere presence of an unlawful substance in their system, including marijuana, a motorist can be charged with operating with the presence of a controlled substance “OWPD,” even if the substance is not affecting the motorist’s ability to drive.

  • Can I be charged for taking my prescribed medication?  Yes.  If the prescribed medication affects a motorist’s ability to operate a vehicle in a normal manner, that motorist can be charged with operating while intoxicated or impaired by a controlled substance.
  • What are the consequences for failing to take a breath test?  There are two breath tests utilized in Michigan.  A roadside preliminary breath test, “PBT”, is used as a tool to determine probable cause for arrest.  A motorist’s failure to submit to a properly requested PBT can result in the issuance of a civil infraction (traffic ticket), having the consequence of fines and no further sanction to the motorist’s driver’s license.  A motorist’s refusal to submit to the evidential, or “DataMaster”, test at a police station can result in serious sanctions to the motorist’s operator’s license, including a suspension of driving privileges for a year, without restrictions.
  • Can I be charged if I’m “sleeping it off” in my car? It depends.  In Michigan, a motorist is deemed to be “operating” if they are in a position of authority and control over a vehicle and that vehicle represents a danger of collision.

  • What if I am less than 21?  In Michigan, a motorist less than 21 can be charged with a “Zero Tolerance” OWI offense meaning that any amount of alcohol in the motorist’s system, even if not influencing that person’s ability to operate a vehicle, can render charges.

 

In over 30 years of criminal defense practice, Joseph A. Simon has successfully helped thousands of people charged with DUI/OWI offenses, aggressively challenging illegal traffic stops, unlawful arrests, and breath or blood testing procedures.  Contact our firm at 734-887-6200 to see why so many people in Washtenaw, Wayne, Lenawee and Jackson counties charged with DUI/OWI drunk driving charges have chosen Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney, Joseph A. Simon, to be their defense attorney and protector of their freedom and reputation.