People commonly believe that they are responsible enough to drive after drinking a beer or having a glass of wine. Well, did you know that you could still be charged with drunk driving even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is below the legal limit in Washtenaw County? This is in large part due to the fact that consuming any quantity of alcohol will impact your concentration, vision, reaction time, and motor skills while operating a motor vehicle. Read on to learn more.
According to research presented in the Injury Prevention Journal, small quantities of alcohol can still result in fatal car accidents. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, presented information demonstrating the following:
“Drivers with a BAC of 0.01 percent are 46 percent more likely to be “officially and solely” to blame by accident investigators than sober drivers. They also determined that the chances of causing a wreck increases steadily and smoothly from BAC 0.01 to 0.24 percent, meaning that there is no sudden transition when comparing a buzzed driver to a drunk driver.”
Because of the dangers associated with buzzed driving, Michigan State has several criminal laws aimed to punish and deter people from driving while impaired in any condition. Thus, if your BAC is .05%, you can still be arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and/or operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) in Washtenaw County. You could also be charged with reckless driving. The prosecutor will have the discretion to pursue the charge(s) against you or completely dismiss the case. If you cause a car accident while impaired with a low BAC, the prosecutor will likely pursue a case against you.
In conclusion, if you decide to drink and drive, you will be charged for drunk driving in Washtenaw County regardless of whether your BAC is .07% or .08%.
I invite you to read my article on Michigan’s drunk driving penalties and sentencing for more information. Please keep in mind that Michigan’s drunk driving penalties and sentencing guidelines differ if you are convicted as a minor.
If you have been arrested for an OWI/OWPD in Washtenaw County, contact Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington to help you navigate through this difficult situation in your life. Stacey Washington has helped a number of clients mitigate any long-term consequences of OWIs/OWPDs.