What is OWVI in Michigan? Is it drunk driving?

There are several types of drunk driving charges in Michigan.  One that is surprising to most is OWVI or Operating While Visibly Impaired.

OWVI is a misdemeanor drunk driving charge where your blood alcohol level or BAC is at least .02, but less than .08.  It sounds odd, but yes, you can get a drunk driving charge in Michigan for having a BAC below .08.  The idea is that the alcohol has impaired your ability to drive safely.

A First Offense Operating While Visibly Impaired charge carries:

  • Maximum 93 days jail sentence
  • Up to two year probation
  • Alcohol and drug testings while on probation
  • Fines up to $300
  • Up 360 community service hours
  • Court courts which vary from court to court, but can be very expensive
  • 90 days restricted drivers license through the SOS
  • Possible vehicle immobilization
  • Four points on your Michigan Drivers License
  • Drivers responsibility fees for two years through the SOS. $500 per year

Here is the Michigan Complied Law on Operating While Visibly Impaired: click here.

If you are charged with a second or third offense OWVI, OWI, High BAC, or any drunk driving combination within 7 years, then there are enhanced penalties in Michigan which can include mandatory license suspension, revocation, and jail.  I can discuss with you how a second or third offense will impact your life.

If you are charged with any drunk driving offenses in Michigan, whether that is a Minor BAC, OWVI, OWI, DUI, OUIL, High BAC, or Super Drunk Driving, then call me for an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer.  I practice in Ann Arbor, Saline, Milan, Ypsilanti, Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester, Jackson, Howell, Fowlerville, Brighton, Plymouth, Northville, Belleville, and the surrounding Washtenaw, Wayne, Jackson, Livingston, Lenawee Counties.