The crime of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury is a serious felony offense that can be committed in various ways. A person will be charged with Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury if he/she has a body alcohol content of .08 or higher and is the substantial cause of another person’s serious injury. This offense normally occurs when two vehicles are involved in an accident and one of the driver’s was drunk. It can be very difficult to challenge these charges, especially when a driver has a high body alcohol content. However, if the drunk driver was not a substantial cause of the other person’s injury, an acquittal can be obtained.
Serious injury or serious bodily impairment can consist of a broken bone, an injured internal organ, brain injury, paralysis, or any type of permanent injury.
A person can also be charged with Operating While Impaired Causing Serious Injury if he/she had a body alcohol content that was less than .08 and was involved in an injury accident. This type of offense is more difficult to prove because there has to be evidence that the impaired driver was substantially affected by alcohol when driving and getting into the accident.
Another option for prosecutors is the offense of drugged driving causing serious injury, it is another form of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury. A driver who has any amount of an illegal drug in his/her body or is intoxicated by certain types of prescription drugs can be charged with this offense when an injury accident occurs. People using medical marijuana remain exposed to this type of felony charge if they are involved in an injury accident.
No matter what form of Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury the prosecutor charges, a conviction on this offense will require a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. The typical sentence on an Operating While Intoxicated Causing Serious Injury in Washtenaw County is 6 months to 1 year in the county jail with 3 years of supervised probation or 1 year in prison. A long-term driver license revocation will also result from a conviction on this offense. The vehicle involved in the offense may also be immobilized or forfeited to the state.