The Detroit Police Department along with many other municipalities made the commitment to their communities that they would crack down on drunk driving as 2019 came to a close and 2020 began. There was a notable increased presence of authorities throughout the streets and highways in the state of Michigan in an effort to bolster the Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.
The campaign was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to curb drunk driving. It also promotes an increased police presence aimed at catching those who engage in the dangerous activity so that innocent people will be at a lessened risk of losing their lives to these reckless drivers. The campaign was in full effect in the state of Michigan from December 18, 2019, through January 1, 2020.
The NHTSA reports that the majority of incidents involving drunk drivers take place between midnight and 3:00 a.m. This makes sense as the last call for bars in the state of Michigan is 2:00 a.m. Drunk driving is well-known to be highly risky and dangerous behavior. Even though there is ample evidence supporting the clear relationship between catastrophic traffic accidents and intoxicated driving, there are still many individuals who drive drunk. According to statistics, one person in America will be killed in a drunk driving accident every 23 minutes.
The number of drunk drivers in the United States is astounding. There are more drunk drivers in our country than there are people in many other countries. The United States loses approximately 11,000 individuals each year from drunk driving incidents. In 2018, close to 32% of the fatal crashes that took place in the state of Michigan were related to alcohol. In 2018 during the Christmas holiday season, nine fatal accidents were the result of alcohol use.
According to the 2019 report released by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Michigan is one of the lowest-rated states for drunk driving laws. MADD concludes that lawmakers in the state have failed to improve drunk driving laws in over a decade. Law enforcement’s response at the end of 2019 is a good sign that Michigan is taking the drunk driving issue seriously.
In the state of Michigan, there are two categories to describe driving while inebriated. You are either operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OWI) or operating while visibly impaired (OWVI). Out of the two offenses, the OWI is the most grievous and it occurs when one is driving while:
An OWI shows that a person is operating a vehicle with visible proof that they have drugs or alcohol in their system. An OWVI indicates that a person exhibits signs of impairment from drugs or alcohol.
The penalties for these offenses are:
A judge may also order either immobilization or forfeiture of a defendant’s driving abilities in both OWI and OWVI cases.
There are even harsher penalties if the individual who is driving has put a young passenger in harm’s way. When a driver has a passenger 16 years or younger in the car at the time of their offense, the following will occur:
The Michigan OWI defense attorneys at the Schwartz Law Group have extensive experience helping those who have been charged with an OWI, DUI, or OWVI crimes in Michigan. We know how complex these cases are to litigate and we have the resources and the compassion to fight for our clients’ rights.
The Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys at the Schwartz Law Group are fully invested in examining every detail of each individual DUI case we see. We know how to seek out opportunities to pursue the best possible resolution for your case.
Call the Schwartz Law Group today and we can discuss your OWI/OWVI situation during a free consultation. Our talented and knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense attorneys can be contacted at (248) 266-8720.