Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI)

OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired) is operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired due to the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance. No specific alcohol or drug content is required.

First-time offender expectations for an OWVI conviction

The first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by one or more of the following:

  • up to 93 days in jail
  • a fine of up to $300
  • community service of up to 360 hours

The Secretary of State will suspend the operator’s license for 90 days in the case of alcohol, 180 days in the case of drugs, and a restricted license is available. Four points will be assessed against the driver’s record.

To prove an individual Operated While Visibly Impaired it is not necessary to demonstrate the bodily alcohol level of the individual. Specifically, an individual can be charged and/or convicted of operating while impaired with a bodily alcohol level below .08 or above .08.

To convict an individual while visibly impaired, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that, due to the drinking of alcohol, the defendant drove with less ability than would an ordinary, careful driver. The defendant’s driving ability must have been lessened to the point that it would have been noticed by another person.

Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers, for Southwest Michigan

The criminal defense attorneys at Hills at Law, P.C., have more than a century of combined legal experience. We are dedicated to minimizing the consequences you face and will do everything in our power to make that happen. Since 1999, clients throughout Kalamazoo, Berrien, and Southwest Michigan have relied on Hills at Law, P.C. for effective criminal defense.


Contact The Firm: 269.373.5430

Fighting for your liberty when the government is fighting to take it.