It is the responsibility of every state to ensure road safety for drivers, commuters, and pedestrians. Therefore, each state has enacted laws and regulations to prevent accidents and injuries related to drunk driving. There are two types of impaired driving in Michigan: drugged driving and drunk driving.
Drugged Driving VS. Drunk Driving
Drugged driving and drunk driving are both severe offenses in Michigan, but they are treated differently under the law. It is essential to understand the difference between the two to make informed decisions about how to get home if you’ve been drinking or using drugs.
Drunk driving is defined as operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. This includes having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. On the other hand, drugged driving is defined as operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs. This includes illegal drugs, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications.
There are a few critical differences between drugged driving and drunk driving in Michigan. Drugged drivers can be charged with a felony offense, while drunk drivers can only be charged with a misdemeanor. Additionally, drugged drivers can have their licenses suspended for up to one year, while drunk drivers’ licenses can only be suspended for six months. Finally, drugged drivers can be required to complete a drug education program, while drunk drivers are not required to do so.
It is essential to know what substances are considered drugs under Michigan law. These include prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and illegal drugs. Even if a sense is legal, it can still be considered a drug if it impairs your ability to drive safely.
If the police pull you over and suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs, they will likely administer a field sobriety test. If you fail this test, you will be arrested and required to submit to a chemical test to determine the presence of drugs in your system.
Penalties for Drugged Driving
If you are convicted of drugged driving, you can face a range of penalties, from a fine of $100 to a jail sentence of up to five years. You may also be required to participate in a driver’s license suspension program, which can last for one year. However, if your actions result in death, you could face up to 15 years in prison for a vehicular manslaughter charge.
Other penalties and consequences from a drugged driving charge can include:
- Required participation in a drug education program – up to 180 days
- Victim impact panels – up to 10
- Community service – up to 360 hours
- Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture – up to 180 days
- Increased insurance rates – up to three years
- Loss of job or inability to find a job
- Damage to personal relationships
Seeking Counsel Against Drugged Driving Charges
The penalties for a drugged driving conviction in Michigan can be severe, including jail time, fines, and losing your driver’s license. If you face charges for drugged driving, it is vital to seek experienced legal counsel. The attorneys at Fran Murphy Law have years of experience defending clients against DUI charges and can help you build a strong defense against the allegations. Contact us today for a free consultation.