Given the proliferation of breweries in the Lower Peninsula, you might think that Michigan law enforcement would be somewhat more tolerant of those who get behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks. That, however, is simply not the case. Michigan calls offenses involving driving after drinking or consuming mind-altering drugs Operating While Impaired (OWI) offenses.
Popular culture tends to frequently dramatize field sobriety testing. Popular characters on television, in movies and in books are asked (with surprising regularity) to recite the alphabet backwards and to walk a straight line while touching their nose with alternating pointer finger. Field sobriety testing is utilized by some law enforcement agents during drunk driving stops. However, breath and blood alcohol testing is utilized far more frequently.
You're 35 years old, and you're fairly set in your career at this point. You pride yourself on hard work. You've been getting promoted, your boss likes you, and you recently got a nice raise - which you plan to use to buy a bigger home for your family. Everything is going well, and you go out to celebrate.
All operating while impaired charges in Michigan are serious, but even more so for people who are underage. If you are going to consume alcohol before you turn 21 years old, you are facing some very serious charges if you decide to drink and drive. The same is true if you use drugs and then drive.
Do you live in Michigan? It doesn't matter if you're one of our Ann Arbor readers or reside in another part of the state, it's important to become familiar with the operating while intoxicated laws that are in place.
The police pull you over one rainy night on the way home, the red and blue lights smeared across your rear window, and they ask you to take a breath test. The officer gets the Breathalyzer out, has you blow into it and then nods knowingly. She tells you to get out and get in the back of the squad car: You're over the .08 limit, and you're going to jail.
You are likely aware that an operating while intoxicated (OWI) arrest in and around Ann Arbor can lead to severe penalties if convicted. However, you may not know very much about the rights of someone who has been arrested.