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Michigan OWVI Drunk Driving Law Information

Michigan Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) Penalties

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) means that because of alcohol or drugs, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired. In order to be found guilty of OWVI in Michigan, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, due to the ingestion of alcohol or drugs, you drove with less ability than would a normal, careful driver. As in all categories of OWI, your blood alcohol content is relevant to an OWVI charge. In an OWVI case, however, the prosecutor more often relies on police observations of your driving to prove their OWVI case. The problem with this is that while the police officer may think your driving is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, it may simply be due to poorly maintained roadways, a pre-existing medical condition, bad weather conditions, or a vehicle that needs repair.

OWVI is a “lesser included offense” of an OWI. That means that if you are charged with OWI and found not guilty, you can still be found guilty of an OWVI. Often times, OWVI is offered as a reduced plea in a drunk driving case when someone would normally be charged with OWI.

Penalties for OWVI in Michigan:
Though penalties for an OWVI conviction are less than those for an OWI conviction, the punishments are still severe.

First OWVI Conviction—Misdemeanor
Possible up to 93 days in jail
Possible up to 360 hours of community service
Possible fine of up to $300
Possible vehicle immobilization
Driver’s license: 90 days restricted
Driver’s License: 4 points
Driver Responsibility Fees

Second OWVI Conviction in last 7 years—Misdemeanor
Possible 5 days to 1 year in jail
Possible 30 days to 90 days of community service
Mandatory fine of $200 to $1,000
Mandatory vehicle immobilization
Driver’s license: minimum 1 year revoked
Driver’s license: 4 points
Driver Responsibility Fees

Third OWVI Conviction in a lifetime—Felony
Possible 1 year to 5 years in prison
Possible 30 days to 1 year in jail, probation, and community service for 60 to 180 days
Mandatory fine of $500 to $5,000
Mandatory vehicle immobilization
Driver’s license: minimum 5 years revoked
Driver’s license: 4 points
Driver Responsibility Fees

Serious injury or death: If your Michigan OWVI crime causes someone to be killed or severely injured, your punishments will be exceptionally heightened, especially for a second or subsequent offense. The Michigan sentencing guidelines require substantial prison time for convictions on these offenses. If you are facing a serious injury or death case, it is vital that you begin to work immediately with a skilled and experienced lawyer.

Your Operating While Visibly Impaired Lawyer:
At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we have been practicing drunk driving defense for over 80 combined years. We have earned a reputation across Michigan as being tough defense lawyers. Our team of attorneys works vigorously on your defense. We have what it takes to win!

Call us to schedule your free first appointment: (866) 766-5245. You may also email us page.

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Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC. practices law throughout the state of Michigan including, but not limited to, the following geographical areas: Ingham County, Livingston County, Washtenaw County, Jackson County, Calhoun County, Eaton County, Barry County, Ionia County, Montcalm County, Clinton County, Gratiot County and Kent County. This includes the following cities and towns: Lansing, Howell, Brighton, Corunna, Durand, St. Johns, Ithaca, Stanton, Greenville, Ionia, Hastings, Charlotte, Battle Creek, Jackson and Ann Arbor.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. All of the individuals pictured here were associated with the law firm at the time the photograph was taken.