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Prescription Drug OWI

Prescription Drug OWI

Driving under the influence of an illegal substance or alcoholic beverages is of course illegal under Michigan law. What you might not know is that certain over-the-counter medications and prescriptions could potentially have side effects that look similar to intoxication. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that driving in this state of matter can result in an OWI charge. Additionally, they fail to realize that they can be charged with OWI regardless of whether the medication was prescribed by a doctor.

The first thing an individual should realize when they are facing prescription drug OWI charges is that they’re not alone. Although these charges can be severe, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If a driver has been arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence of medication, it’s time to hire a skilled OWI defense attorney who will fight aggressively on their behalf. Dallo Law, P.C. has years of experience defending clients charged with drunk driving charges. This is where we step in.

Prescription Drug OWI Attorneys in Bloomfield Hills, MI

If you have been charged with prescription drug OWI in Michigan, you don’t have to go through it alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney who can defend your case is just a phone call way. Contact Dallo Law, P.C. today to begin crafting your defense. Attorney J. Dallo will prioritize the reduction of your charges and if possible, dismissal of charges.

Dallo Law, P.C. serves the communities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Orchard Lake Village, West Bloomfield, Commerce Township, Farmington Hills, Royal Oak, Novi, Livonia, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Rochester, and Rochester Hills. Michigan OWI defense attorney J. Dallo also handles criminal cases in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne Counties. Call (248) 283-7000 to set up your free, confidential consultation.


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Is Prescription Medication Considered a Controlled Substance in Michigan?

Michigan law makes it a crime to operate a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. It’s important to note that an individual can be charged with a prescription drug OWI even if they were prescribed the controlled substance. If officers are unable to charge you with OWI, they may instead claim your visibility was impaired while driving due to the medication and charge you with OWVI (Operating While Visibility Impaired).

Any amount of a controlled substance in a driver’s system is enough for an OWI conviction. Prescription medications such as Xanax, Ambien, Valium, Codeine, Morphine, Oxycontin, Percocet, Ritalin, Adderall, Zoloft, and Ritalin could potentially impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle due to their intoxicating effects.

Many people are also surprised to learn that they can be charged with prescription drug OWI if they are found driving while impaired by Ambien. Ambien is a sedative used to treat insomnia in adults. Prescription sleep aids can lead drivers to operate in a hypnotic state where they are not fully conscious of his or her actions.


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OWI Penalties in Michigan

The Michigan Penal Code 257.625 lists penalties for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). The state of Michigan mandates a driver’s license suspension for each OWI conviction:

First Offense:

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for 30 days
  • License restrictions for up to 180 days
  • Six points added to driving record
  • Possible ignition interlock

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • License restrictions for 90 days
  • Possible vehicle immobilization
  • Four points added to driving record

Second Offense within 7 Years (any combination):

OWI and OWPD

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • No less than 48 hours of the term must be served consecutively
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • Driver’s license revocation and denial for a minimum of 12 months
  • Driver’s license plate confiscation
  • Vehicle immobilization for up to 180 days
  • Six points added to the driving record

OWVI

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 90 days of community service
  • Driver’s license revocation and denial for a minimum of 12 months
  • Driver’s license plate confiscation
  • Vehicle immobilization for up to 180 days
  • Four points added to driving record

Third OWI Convictions

OWI

  • $500 to $5,000 fine, and either of the following: 1 to 5 years of imprisonment or probation, with 30 days to 1 year in jail
  • Up to 180 days of community service
  • Driver’s license revocation for at least 1 year
  • License plate confiscation
  • Vehicle immobilization for up to 3 years, unless the vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture
  • Vehicle registration denial.
  • 6 points added to the offender’s driving record.

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Additional Resources for Prescription Drug OWI

The Secretary of State: Substance Abuse and Driving in Michigan – Visit the official website of the Office of Secretary of State in Michigan. The page offers information on substance abuse and driving. Click the link to read about types of OWI charges, effects of alcohol, and illegal drugs/medications.

EGLE: Medication as Controlled Substances in Michigan – Visit the official website of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy to view a list of medications that are considered controlled substances. The drugs are listed in alphabetical order.


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Bloomfield Hills OWI Defense Attorney | Michigan OWI Laws

The penalties for being charged with OWI can be severe. This is why it’s important to contact a Michigan OWI defense lawyer immediately to potentially minimize the penalties you’re facing. J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. carries a record of successes defending clients arrested for prescription drug OWI charges.

Dallo Law, P.C. accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Waterford Township, Oakland Charter Township, Royal Oak, Clarkston, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Utica, Romeo, Warren, Sterling Heights, Eastpointe, St. Clair Shores and New Baltimore. Start building your defense today with J. Dallo and call (248) 283-7000.


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