Different states have different rules for driving under the influence, and Michigan and Ohio are no different. For those who frequently travel between both, it’s important to understand the laws of each state to prevent complications.
Ohio DUI cases are known as OVIs (operating a vehicle under the influence). Any driver who has consumed enough alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two to impair their driving may face arrest for an OVI.
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If the court finds you guilty of driving while over the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) level, you will face license suspension, fines, and potential jail time. Refusal to consent to a BAC test will also result in a license suspension. Higher levels of BAC are likely to face harsher penalties, as are repeat offenses.
Ohio’s OVI laws consider any device a person may use for transport along a highway as a vehicle. This includes most motorized vehicles, such as four wheelers, snowmobiles, mopeds, farm equipment, and motorized bikes. It does not count motorized wheelchairs or devices powered by humans, such as skateboards, unicycles, and roller skates, though standard bicycles are not exempt from OVI charges.
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Michigan law refers to DUIs as OWIs (operating while intoxicated). Like Ohio, these laws prohibit any sort of vehicle operation while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can also receive an OWVI (operating while visibly impaired), even if your BAC is not over the legal limit.
First-time OWI offenders will likely receive penalties in the form of fines, license suspension, and possible community service or jail time. Second and third-time offenders will face longer license revocations, higher fines, longer jail time, and plate confiscation. There are also further penalties for refusing chemical testing, driving with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, and endangering a child through an OWI.
Michigan only considers OWIs if the vehicle has a form of motor in it. Motorized bicycles may count so long as they reach a significant amount of horsepower, while someone riding a human powered bicycle, even under the influence, would not be at risk for OWI.
Because of the term “operation,” drivers can face OWI charges, even if they were not technically driving their vehicle at the time of arrest. For example, a driver who has fallen asleep at the wheel and left their vehicle parked in the middle of a road, and is under the influence of alcohol, would still face OWI. Even drivers who pull over into parking lots or the side of the road can also face such charges, so long as the court has sufficient evidence of operation.
DUI laws can be complicated matters to understand and handle, especially when you’re frequently traveling across states. While the best course of action is to never drive after consuming alcohol, you should seek legal help if you face an OVI or OWI charge. An attorney can help you understand the laws relevant to your state to give your OVI or OWI case the best outcome possible.
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How To Get Help
Drunk driving accidents require the expertise of a high quality personal injury law firm. The lawyers at Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., L.P.A. have provided that knowledge and skill for more than 60 years. We have over 300 years of combined legal experience helping injured victims get the compensation they need.
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