In Michigan, if you drive after drinking, you may face “operating while intoxicated” or OWI charges. It’s possible to be arrested for this if you are in a parking lot or on a road while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or a combination of these.
Additionally, Michigan is an implied consent state. This means that when you apply for a driver’s license in the state, you agree to comply with the requirement of a urine, breath or blood test if the police pull you over and suspect you of driving under the influence.
You have the right to refuse this testing but may face license suspension, fines and other consequences. Also, you can still be arrested if the police have probable cause to believe you are under the influence, even if you refuse the test.
Blood alcohol concentration limits and laws
A few laws related to BAC levels in Michigan determine when and what type of OWI you are arrested for. These include:
- Adults with a BAC of 0.08% or higher can be arrested for a “per se” OWI
- Those underage in Michigan can be arrested with just a 0.02% BAC due to the Zero Tolerance law
- Aggravated OWI charges occur with a BAC of 0.17% or higher
Your charges will determine the penalties that you face if convicted. However, most charges come with license suspension, fines and jail time.
Protecting your rights
It’s best to avoid drinking and driving. However, if you have been arrested for OWI, you have rights. Knowing your legal rights will help you protect yourself and help you reduce the likelihood of facing severe fines and other penalties.