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Driving While Under the Influence of an Illegal Drug, Schedule I Controlled Substance, or Prescription Medication in Michigan

031446699-handful-pills.jpegIn Michigan, a person will be convicted of a DUI if he/she operates a motor vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public while under the influence an illegal drug, schedule I controlled substance or a prescribed medication that prohibits driving upon ingestion. See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 257.625.




illegal or "street" drugs are sold without a prescription and are particularly dangerous. Users do not always know the contents, purity, or possible effects of these drugs.

Prescription and non-prescription medications may also contain things that can have an adverse effect on your ability to drive safely. Some drugs such as antihistamines, which are found in many cold and allergy preparations, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and pain relievers, may cause drowsiness. Diet pills, " stay awake" drugs, and other medications with stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedrine, or pseudoephedrine, may cause excitability or drowsiness. The effects may also vary depending on the combination of drugs. Know the contents and possible side effects of any drugs you take, and be sure it is safe to drive when you use them.

Types of Charges

1. Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)

A person will be charged with an OWVI if his/her ability to drive was visibly impaired due to his/her use of an illegal drug.

2. Operating While Under the Influence of Drugs (OWID)

A person will be charged with an OWID if he/she has drugs in his/her body which substantially affect his/her ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

3. Operating With Any Presence of a Controlled Substance (OWPCS)

A person will be charged with an OWPCS if he/she has even a small trace of a schedule I controlled substance such as cocaine in his/her body, even if he/she does not appear to be intoxicated or impaired. The presence of the controlled substance is usually determined through a chemical test.

A bill has currently been proposed in Michigan that would permit police officers to perform a roadside saliva test aimed to tell them whether a driver has consumed marijuana. Saliva testing is used to determine a person's level of THC (the psychoactive component of marijuana). If THC is present, then a person will be arrested and charged with a DUI.

Penalties & Sentencing

For more information regarding the penalties, fines, and sentencing a person may incur as a result of driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Michigan, click here.

Contact me for a consultation if you have been charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance in Washtenaw County.


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