It is a crime to let someone operate your vehicle if that person is intoxicated or impaired. The law states that a person who is in charge or control of a vehicle shall not authorize or knowingly permit another person to use the vehicle.
Penalties for Allowing a Person to Operate While Intoxicated/Impaired
Allowing a person who is intoxicated or impaired to use your vehicle is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $100-$500 fine and costs, or both.
These crimes are considered non-moving violations, which means the Michigan Secretary of State will not assess points on your driver’s license.
Although there aren’t driver’s license sanctions, allowing a person to operate your car while intoxicated could get more serious if a person is injured or killed as a result of that operation.
Allowing someone to operate your vehicle resulting in serious impairment to a bodily function is a felony, punishable by up to 2 years in prison, a $1,000-$5,000 fine, or both.
Allowing someone to operate your vehicle resulting in death is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a $1,000-$5,000 fine, or both.
Authorize or Knowingly Permit
The language of the law says a person shall not “authorize or knowingly permit” a person to use their car. As you might imagine, it is uncommon for a stone cold sober person to allow an intoxicated person to drive their car. The common fact pattern in these cases is for one buzzed person to think it’s a better idea for a friend to drive, not realizing the friend is buzzed as well. The question becomes whether the person knowingly permitted the friend to drive. If the person was basically passed out then how “knowingly” did they let the friend drive?
Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor Drunk Driving Lawyer.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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Our Practice, Criminal Defense, and Drunk Driving Trials
At ArborYpsi Law we represent people charged with drunk driving and other OWI charges. Have you been charged with drunk driving and would like to learn more? Call us to set up a free consultation. We will let you know exactly what you should expect. We will not “scare” you into hiring us.
You will call many attorneys and they will tell you that if you don’t hire them you are going to jail and your life will be over. The reality is you’re not facing jail time on a first-time drunk driving arrest. That’s not your main consideration. There are some judges who could impose jail time (Oakland County), and we will warn of that, especially if the facts of the case are bad or you have a prior record. Your main concern is the drunk driving conviction going on your permanent record. You can never expunge a DUI. It will be on your record permanently, even though the point will drop off after a couple years.
This means you may want to consider fighting the charges if possible. We are not promising to have the magic toolbox to make this go away, or the magic tools that will guarantee a trial win. We definitely won’t promise that we can convince the prosecutor to offer you a civil infraction (which will not happen unless you are willing to fight the charge and have the prosecutor on the ropes).
Here is what we can promise you. If you give us the green light to fight the case we will do everything in our power to win the case. When we take the case we will spend time figuring out how to beat the case. We will file Freedom of Information Act requests to all agencies and spend a generous amount of time with the case.
As with any criminal case, we will give you an honest evaluation and be willing to fight the case. Many attorney specialize in using their education to tell explain why you can’t fight your case. You can always fight the case, it’s called a trial.
In a trial you force the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did what you’re accused of. Here’s a secret. Prosecutors hate to do that. Many of them do not want to go to trial, even when they have an easily winnable case.
A criminal defense attorney should be willing to try the case, even if the case is an uphill battle. The reality is these drunk driving cases are difficult to beat. The deck is stacked against the client (the legislature did this on purpose). The true test of a criminal defense attorney is the willingness to try the case despite the uphill battle. Your criminal defense attorney should not be afraid to lose.
Many prosecutor offices are unwilling to offer even the standard plea deals. In Washtenaw County and Oakland County, the state prosecutors won’t even consider the simple plea bargain resolution to operating while visibly impaired, which would save you points, fines, a license suspension, etc.
Most people charged with drunk driving made a mistake. They drank, thought they could drive, and drove. Many of them have never been near a courtroom or a similar interaction with a police officer. Despite the fact they have never been in trouble before may prosecutors will still not offer a deal.
Trial should be considered in these instances. Frankly, with a trial you never know what could happen, even with a bad case. Here’s how it goes in criminal defense – when you create a dynamic in which you are able to win, all of a sudden you are able to win. When you set the case for trial, all of a sudden you are able to win. It might just be worth your time.
This is not to say that you should blindly push ahead toward trial with no game plan or strategy, especially where the facts of the case or the particular judge mean a trial loss could be bad for you. That’s not what we’re saying. We’re saying seriously consider trial as an option when there are no other options. A trial is not some mystical experience that only happens in the world of fiction or television. A trial is simply a test of the sufficieny of the evidence against you.
Trials should be common occurrences, but unfortunately our system has devolved to the point where trials statistically barely happen. It should be the other way around. Trials should be default. If trials were the default option for criminal defense lawyers, clients everywhere would suddenly find those deals getting a lot better. Prosecutors get lazy and get away with “no deal” policies because they are confident defense lawyers will not challenge them. Let’s start challenging cases.
Read Our ArborYpsi Law Blog Articles
- Felony Charges
- OWI Case Procedure
- What to do After an OWI Arrest
- Rules to Follow When Pulled Over for an OWI
Call 734-883-9584 to speak with an Ann Arbor Attorney