What is Drugged Driving or Driving with the Presence of a Controlled Substance in Michigan?

Most people are familiar with drunk driving, DUI, OWI, impaired driving, among the other alcohol related offenses.  As marijuana and other controlled substances become more available, this makes drugged driving more common in Michigan.

What is drugged driving in Michigan?

A person can be charged with several types of drugged driving crimes in Michigan if they operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.  The two most common charges are: MCL 257.265(8) Operating with the Presence of a Controlled Substance, and MCL 257.265(1) Operating While Intoxicated.

How can a person get in trouble for Operating with the Presence of a Controlled Substance in Michigan(OWPD)?

In Michigan, if a person is caught operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a drug or controlled substance, then they can be charged with a crime.  Operating a motor vehicle with any presence of a controlled substance is also a crime.  The way the police get the information they need is through a confession, observations, blood testing, among other things.  Blood tests can be tricky because if any drugs are found in the person’s system, they can be charged even if they weren’t high at the time.  This can make defending a drugged driving crime in Michigan difficult because a blood test that shows the lowest amount of a drug in your system is enough for a conviction on the Operating With the Presence of a Controlled Substance charge.

How do you defend against these types of charges?

This is also a difficult question to answer because each situation is unique.  An experienced criminal defense attorney in Michigan would listen to what happened, review the evidence, and come up with a plan.  Sometimes the plan is to challenge whether the police had a good reason for the traffic stop, whether the police followed the 4th amendment against unreasonable search and seizures, whether the charges were timely, evidence availability, officers’ conduct, among other things.  Crimes under the motor vehicle code are permanent.  This means that you can’t get them expunged later on.  There are also no first offender programs for these types of crimes.  It is important that you understand your options.  Sometimes going to trial is your best option, other times an offer makes more sense.  It will come down to what your goals are and what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are charged with drugged driving, operating with the presence of a controlled substance, operating while intoxicated using marijuana, or any alcohol and/or substance related driving crime in Michigan, then call me for a free consultation at (734) 887-6079.  I will speak with you about your options so that you can make an informed decision on what you want to do.  I defend against crimes in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Milan, Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Howell, Fowlerville, Brighton, Jackson, Plymouth, Belleville, among other Michigan cities and townships.

Here is a link to look up cases in the 15th District Court: https://www.a2gov.org/departments/15D/online-services/pages/case-search.aspx

Other courts have different links, but if you are in the City of Ann Arbor, then this link should be helpful.