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Drunken Driving Offenses: DUI, OWI, and More Explained

Drunken Driving Offenses

Posted 6 years ago by Detroit Bail Bonds

You may have heard people referring to drunken driving offenses through numerous combinations of different letters: OWI, DWI, OUI, and so on. So what’s the difference between a DUI and an OWI and all the rest?

Some are variations of the same concept. Others cannot be used interchangeably, however, because they do mean different things. Here’s how it breaks down when it comes to the most common offenses.

Michigan Law

According to Michigan law, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescription medications. A blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher is considered intoxicated in the state of Michigan, and a high BAC means the alcohol level was 0.17 or higher.

With the exception of a trace amount of alcohol consumed at a religious ceremony, individuals under the age of 21 cannot buy, possess, or drink alcohol at all.

Difference Between DUI and OWI

Drunken Driving Offenses

DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while OWI stands for Operating While Intoxicated. They both essentially mean the same thing, but the more proper term in Michigan is OWI even though DUI is more commonly used in general conversation.

While that may sound simple, the penalties and definitions of all the different terms vary by state and jurisdiction, so consult with an attorney to determine the steps you should take. Some states, for example, differentiate between a DUI and a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired), with DUI being used if drugs, specifically, were a factor in the driver’s condition.

OWPD and OWVI Drunken Driving Offenses

Lesser known drunken driving offenses include OWPD and OWVI. We hear people talking about DUIs and OWIs more often, but if you’ve been charged with one of these other offenses, you should know what these mean as well.

• OWVI stands for Operating While Visibly Impaired. You can be charged even if your BAC is less than 0.08 if an officer believes you are not able to drive safely.

• OWPD stands for Operating with the Presence of Drugs. You can be charged if drug use affects your ability to drive, regardless of the results of tests.

Drunken Driving Penalties

In Michigan, penalties for first-time drunken driving offenses include up to 180 days license suspension and 6 points on the license for a driver with a blood-alcohol level less than 0.17. Others may include a fine of up to $500, 93 days in jail, and community service hours.

A driver with a high BAC may face suspension of his or her license for up to one year, 6 points on the license, mandatory participation in an alcohol treatment program, and required use of an ignition interlock device for a stated period of time. In addition to community service hours, a driver with a high blood-alcohol level may face a $700 fine and 180 days in jail.
Penalties increase accordingly for repeat offenders, who may face significant fees and jail time as well as loss of driving privileges.

Contact Detroit Bail Bonds for Help

If someone you know has been arrested for drunken driving in the Port Huron area and needs help getting out of jail, we are here for you. Contact us online or by phone at 810-605-5555.
Our local bail bond agents in Port Huron are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure you get help as quickly and efficiently as possible.


Drunken Driving Offenses

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