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Across the nation, it’s illegal to drive while under the influence of alcoholic beverages. What you might not know is that the state of Michigan also charges people for operating a vehicle while in the presence of drugs (OWPD), also known as drugged driving. In Michigan, there is no actual legal limit for drugs as there is for alcohol. So, if you’re tested and metabolites from past drug use is within your system, you could be charged with OWPD. For some substances, such as marijuana, metabolites can be within your system for days, weeks and sometimes months.

The penalties for operating a vehicle while in the presence of drugs can be quite harsh. You could be sentenced to imprisonment and even face a mandatory minimum jail sentence. Not only that, but you could have your license suspended by the secretary of state for up to 150 days and if it’s your second offense up to one year. For these reasons and more, it’s imperative you gain legal representation as soon as possible if you’ve been charged with OWPD.

OWPD Oakland County Defense Lawyer, Michigan

Have you been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs? If so, then we highly encourage you to get in contact with Dallo Law, P.C.. Our managing attorney J. Dallo has extensive experience with traffic crimes with a special focus in OWI. With his resources and skills, you can trust your rights and future are in the right hands.

You can set up your first consultation for free with attorney Dallo by calling Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. is located in Bloomfield Hills but accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Oakland Charter Township, Rochester Hills, Birmingham, Southfield, Troy, Madison Heights, Lake Orion, Roseville, Eastpointe, Utica, Warren and Sterling Heights.

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Common Drugs Used While Driving

Driving while under the influence of drugs is illegal in the state of Michigan. Typically, those charged with OWPD were in possession or under the influence of marijuana. However, there are other drugs people use while operating a vehicle these include, but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Valium
  • Percocet
  • Ecstasy
  • MDMA
  • Fentanyl
  • Adderall
  • Methamphetamines

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What Are the Penalties for Drugged Driving in Michigan?

The penalties for OWPD depend on multiple factors including your past criminal history and what type of drug was found in your system. The penalties tend to be more severe with each subsequent conviction and they may depend on what the judge finds to be “reasonable” for your case. That is because the Michigan Supreme Court has recently ruled that judges have the authority to decide criminal sentences. That means they are no longer restricted to the penalty guidelines listed in the statutes.

Listed below are the statutory penalties for OWPD.

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor
    • Up to 93 days in jail;
    • A possible fine of up to $500;
    • Up to 360 hours of community service;
    • License suspension for 30 days and a 150-day license restriction; and
    • Six points added to your driver’s license
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor
    • Up to 12 months in jail with a mandatory minimum of 5 days;
    • A possible fine of up to $1,000;
    • Up to 90 days of community service with a minimum of 30 days;
    • License revocation for up to one year;
    • Confiscation of your plate;
    • Forfeiture or immobilization of your motor vehicle; and
    • Six points added to your driver’s license.
  • Third Offense – Felony
    • Up 5 years in prison or probation plus 30 days to 12 months in jail;
    • A possible fine of up to $5,000;
    • Up to 180 days of community service;
    • License revocation;
    • Your registration for the vehicle may be denied and license confiscated; and
    • Six points added to your driver’s license

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Additional Resources

NORML | Michigan Drugged Driving Laws – Visit the official website for NORML, an organization dedicated to reforming marijuana legislation across the nation. Access the site to learn more about implied consent laws, the penalties for drugged driving, sobriety checkpoints and per se drugged driving laws.

Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit – Visit the official website for the Michigan Government to read a report distributed by the Michigan Department of State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Access the site to read drugged driving statistics such as how many fatalities are associated with drugged drivers, how many were arrested that year, and how that data compares to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.

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Bloomfield Hills Attorney for Drug DUI

If you or someone you know has been charged with OWPD, then consult Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo of Dallo Law, P.C. has an in-depth knowledge of the science behind OWI testing that he can utilize for your defense. Additionally, he also has studied how metabolites can stay within a person’s system for days or even weeks. With this knowledge, J. Dallo can craft an effective and efficient defense for your criminal charges.

Call Dallo Law, P.C. today to set up your first free consultation at (248) 283-7000. Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Hills, West Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Roseville, Warren, Mount Clemens and Eastpointe.

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