Operating While Intoxicated

Elements of Offense - Ann Arbor, MI - Washtenaw County

The crime of Operating While Intoxicated is a serious offense that can be committed in various ways. A person will be charged with Operating While Intoxicated if he/she has a body alcohol content of .08 or higher while driving a motor vehicle. As long as police conducted the investigation, arrest, and alcohol test properly, an Operating While Intoxicated charge can be difficult to challenge. However, experienced defense counsel will know what to look for and how to level a serious challenge to this type of charge.

A person can also be charged with Operating While Impaired if he/she had a body alcohol content that was less than .08 while driving a motor vehicle. This type of offense can be more difficult to prove because there has to be evidence that the impaired driver was substantially affected by alcohol when driving. The body alcohol content is not necessarily relevant in proving this offense.

Another option for prosecutors is the offense of drugged driving, it is another form of Operating While Intoxicated. A driver who has any amount of an illegal drug in his/her body or is intoxicated by certain types of prescription drugs while driving can be charged with this offense. People using medical marijuana remain exposed to this type of charge as do individuals that use certain prescription medications.

No matter what form of Operating While Intoxicated the prosecutor charges, a conviction on this offense can require a 93-day jail maximum for a first offense and a 1-year jail maximum on a second offense. The more prior convictions a person has on his/her driving record, the more serious the consequences. The typical sentence on a first offense Operating While Intoxicated in Washtenaw County is 1-2 years supervised probation with alcohol or drug treatment and community service or jail work program. A temporary license suspension and restriction will also result from a conviction on this offense and there will be substantial fines, court costs, and state fees.

A person convicted of Operating While Intoxicated – 2nd Offense in Washtenaw County will typically spend 5-10 days in jail with a maximum of 1 year in jail. Supervised probation and alcohol or drug treatment will also be required. A long-term license revocation will normally result and the offending vehicle may be immobilized or forfeited to the state.