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Operating With the Presence of Drugs

In Michigan, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs is generally addressed under the state’s impaired driving laws. The offense may be referred to as operating under the influence of drugs (OUID) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs that substantially impair the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.

It’s important to understand the definitions, penalties and defenses for OUID laws in Michigan if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge for OUID.

Oakland County Operating Under the Influence of Drugs Defense Lawyer

A Michigan Impaired Driving attorney can be your biggest ally. Let us be that ally by calling J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C.. Our managing attorney J. Dallo has spent years safeguarding personal liberty and asserting the right to fair treatment in courts for his clients accused of sexual and domestic crimes. He understands how serious the ramifications of conviction, both in the legal and social sense. That is why he will stop at nothing to ensure that no stone is unturned when formulating the best possible defense for your charges.

Schedule your first consultation with J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. today at (248) 283-7000.

At the consultation, Mr. Dallo will review the facts of your case and outline all your available legal options.

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OIUD Laws in Michigan

In Michigan, and “OUID” charge stands for Operating Under the Influence of Drugs. Defined in the same section as other impaired driving laws, Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.625(8) makes it illegal to have any amount of any Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 drug in one’s system.

This includes recently legalized recreational marijuana.

Additional substances include:

  • DMT
  • Ecstasy/MDMA
  • Psilocybin
  • Meth
  • Ephedrone
  • Bufotenine
  • Opium
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl

The presence of any of the above, as well as those that may be found in Sections 333.7214 and 333.7212, is enough to earn a criminal conviction and may endanger one’s ability to drive. In addition, an OIUD charge may make it more difficult to combat other driving relating charges.

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Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

First-time convictions for an OUID are simple:

  • Community service for up to 360 hours and/or
  • Imprisonment for up to 93 days and/or
  • A fine between $100 and $500

If the accused has one prior conviction of an OUID within 7 years, then the following penalties may apply:

  • Imprisonment for 5-360 days
  • Community service for 1-3 months
  • A fine of $200-1,000

If the conviction is the second of its kind in any amount of time, then the conviction becomes a felony, and may see the following sentencing apply:

  • A fine of $500-5,000
  • Imprisonment between 1-5 years
  • Probation between 1-12 months
  • Community service between 2-6 months

In addition to the above penalty schedule, the defendant may be required to take substance abuse classes at his or her own expense, may face driving suspension or loss, and may have to pay for any damages caused as a result of the impaired driving.

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Defense Strategies for an OUID Violation

Generally, the defenses for an OUID violation tend to follow the same pattern as those for a general impaired driving violation.

Lack of Probable Cause for Stop: If law enforcement did not have a valid reason to stop your vehicle, any evidence obtained afterward may be challenged as inadmissible.

Inaccurate Field Sobriety Tests: Standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) are often used in OUID cases. These tests may not be reliable indicators of drug impairment, and various factors like medical conditions or nervousness can affect performance.

Faulty Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Evaluation: A Drug Recognition Expert may be called upon to assess impairment. If the DRE evaluation was conducted improperly or lacked scientific validity, it could be challenged in court.

Chain of Custody Issues: If there are concerns about the handling or preservation of blood or urine samples, it may be possible to challenge the results based on chain of custody issues.

Medical Conditions or Prescription Medications: Some medical conditions or prescription medications can cause symptoms that mimic impairment. If you have a legitimate medical reason for certain behaviors, it may be a valid defense.

Illegal Search and Seizure: If law enforcement conducted an illegal search or seizure, any evidence obtained may be excluded from court.

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Additional Resources

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – SAMHSA is a national organization that provides resources related to substance abuse, recovery and treatment centers. The attached link provides information on recovery and support, the guiding principles of which are health, home, purpose and community. To learn more, follow the link.

Under 21 Pamphlet – Both alcohol and marijuana are illegal for those under the age of 21, but many still abuse the substances. The attached link is a pamphlet that outlines the consequences of OWI/OUID violations for those 21.

PACE – The PACE program is a program of the Oakland County Health Division’s Office of Substance Abuse Services (OSAS) and provides the first step to substance abuse treatment for Medicaid, low-income and under insured individuals.

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Hire an OUID Oakland County Defense Lawyer

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Waterford Township, Oakland Charter Township, Clarkston, Rochester Hills, Southfield, Clinton Township, Warren, Sterling Heights, Mount Clemens, Roseville, St. Clair Shores, Eastpointe, Romeo, and Utica.

Schedule your first consultation with J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. today at (248) 283-7000.

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