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What role does blood alcohol level play in Michigan OWI charges?

When police officers in Michigan suspect that someone may have gotten behind the wheel when drunk due to erratic driving, swerving or other unusual driving behaviors, they will typically conduct a traffic stop.

If they still suspect someone is under the influence during the initial stop, they may have the person exit the vehicle to perform a field sobriety test and may even administer a chemical breath test to determine someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Measuring someone’s BAC can have a direct impact on the legal consequences of impairment-related traffic stops.

What role does a BAC play in the operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges someone faces?

There are several important limits to know regarding your BAC

Different people are subject to different limitations regarding the amount of alcohol they have in their bodies. Those who are under the age of 21 generally should not have any alcohol in their system, although the state does recognize that young adults may consume alcohol for religious ritual purposes.

As such, minors who get pulled over aren’t subject to a zero-tolerance rule but cannot have a BAC that is higher than .02%. For those with a commercial driver’s license, especially if they are currently in control of a commercial vehicle, the maximum BAC they can have during a traffic stop is .04%. For the average driver and the passenger vehicle, the limit for their BAC is .08%.

There is one more figure that is important for people to know, and it is .17%. That is the BAC at which someone faces high BAC charges, which carries more penalties than standard OWI charges.

If you are facing charges for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, an attorney can provide valuable advice and guidance. You won’t have a lot of time to put together a defense, so it is in your best interest to look into legal representation quickly.

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