Michigan OWI Per Se

Probably one of the first things on your mind is, "what is drunk driving"? What does the prosecutor need to show in court to prove that you were drunk driving.

In Michigan we use the acronym OWI, which stands for operating while intoxicated. The prosecutor can prove that crime in one of two ways. The first is to show that your ability to operate was substantially lessoned by the consumption of alcohol. That term "substantially lessoned" does not define anywhere, and it is really up to the jury to decide what that means. However, if the jury does believe that the prosecutor has shown beyond a reasonable doubt that your driving was substantially lessoned by the consumption of alcohol, then the jury could come back with a guilty verdict.

With regard to the second theory, which is unlawful blood alcohol level (UBAL), all the prosecutor needs to show there is that at the time you were driving your blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. In Michigan, the legal limit is .08. and this is called a Per Se crime which means that prosecutor does not need to relate that blood alcohol level to the driving. If the prosecutor can show that the result is reliable, and that it's admissible, then the jury may use that result alone to find you guilty.

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