Standard Drunk Driving Terms and Definitions

If you are accused of an alcohol or drug-related driving offense, you may be searching the internet for information about the charge, the penalties, and any potential defenses available. It may be helpful for you understand some of the common terms.

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What You Need to Know About OWI Terms

Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving terms and definitions are complicated and confusing. Their cases have different variations of the terms and practices that surround this type of crime. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need legal counsel to guide you through the process, and LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can help.

This information is here so that you can get a snapshot picture of the charge and the language that may be used regularly during the defense process of a criminal case. Although the material listed below will offer some clarification, it cannot take the place of an experienced and dedicated attorney.

The common interchangeable catchall terms are DUI or OWI, which are acronyms for Driving Under the Influence and Operating While Impaired. Again, this could indicate driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other common acronyms used relative to these types of charges are:

  • DWI- Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired
  • OUI – Operating under the Influence
  • OUIL – Operating under the Influence of Alcohol
  • OUID – Operating under the Influence of Drugs
  • OWI – Operating While Intoxicated
  • OWVI – Operating While Visibly Impaired

There are two classifications of charges for drinking or drugging cases.

  • Misdemeanor – a charge that carries a penalty of up to $1000 and up to one year in jail.
  • Felony – a charge that carries a penalty of $200 to $1000 and 30 days up to 20 years in prison.
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More Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving Terms and Definitions

  • BAC – Blood Alcohol Content is the amount of alcohol detected in an individual’s bloodstream. It depicts the level of intoxication. The limit in Michigan is .08.
  • Breathalyzer – A device that an individual will blow into that will measure alcohol presence within the body. The result of a breathalyzer test is admissible as evidence.
  • Preliminary Breath Test – A test where an individual will blow into a device to measure alcohol presence within the body. Also, referred to as a PBT and is generally not admissible in court.
  • Chemical test – A test that will measure the level of alcohol or drugs present within the body.
  • Conviction – A decision of guilty rendered in the criminal case following a trial or plea.
  • Defendant – The individual charged with the crime.
  • Field Sobriety Test – A test conducted when a law enforcement official suspects impairment and requests a variety of physical function tasks to determine if a person is intoxicated.
  • License Suspension or Revocation – A temporary or indefinite loss of driving privileges that will require either a reinstatement fee or a hearing to regain the legal right to drive.
  • Plea Bargain – An agreement between the Prosecutor and the Defendant to enter a guilty plea to a lesser charge.
  • Probable Cause – The police must have a viable reason for pulling you over, such as a traffic violation.
  • Prosecutor – The legal representative for the City or County in which the charge arose
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Experienced Drunk and Drugged Driving Defense

An experienced attorney from LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can offer additional information as well as a ferocious defense for any drunk/drugged driving offenses.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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