OWI in Michigan
OWI in Michigan is a criminal drinking and driving charge. OWI stands for Operating while Intoxicated.
Every crime is made of elements. In order for a prosecutor to convict you of OWI in Michigan each element of the crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The elements of the crime of OWI in Michigan are as follows:
(1)?operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol* [and / or]
(2)?operating a motor vehicle with an unlawful bodily alcohol level.
At first glance is may seem like a simple crime to prove. However, after a closer look at the wording it is clear that the prosecutor has a lot on his plate to prove OWI in Michigan.
A closer look at the elements of OWI in Michigan as the judge may read them to a jury:
To prove the offense of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicating liquor, the prosecution must establish that (1) the defendant was operating a motor vehicle on a highway or other place open to the general public; (2) while so operating the defendant was under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or a combination thereof; and (3) as a result of the drinking or taking of a controlled substance, the defendant was substantially deprived of normal control or clarity of mind.
“Under the influence of alcohol” means that because of drinking alcohol, the defendant’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in a normal manner was substantially lessened. To be under the influence, a person does not have to be what is called “dead drunk,” that is, falling down or hardly able to stand up. On the other hand, just because a person has drunk alcohol or smells of alcohol does not prove, by itself, that the person is under the influence of alcohol. The test is whether, because of drinking alcohol, the defendant’s mental or physical condition was significantly affected and the defendant was no longer able to operate a vehicle in a normal manner.
OWI in Michigan can be challenged
It’s also important to keep in mind that the police must have a reason to stop you.
The police must have a reason to have you perform field sobriety tests.
The police must have a reason for you to take a preliminary breath test.
The police must have a reason to arrest you.
If the police didn’t have a reason to do what they did then they broke the law, and as a result evidence should be suppressed and in many cases your OWI in Michigan should be dismissed.
If you have been charged with OWI in Michigan contact Aaron J. Boria, PLLC, 248-956-0350
Besides jail, a conviction of OWI in Michigan results in a license suspension for a period of time. This means no driving to work, to school, to the doctor, no driving at all – period! Call our firm, let us help keep you with the ability to cary on your daily life.