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Knowing Allowing an Intoxicated Person to Operate

Suppose that you and your friends are out enjoying a few drinks and your designated driver decides to join in for a few rounds before driving everyone home in your vehicle. Or, imagine that you and a friend both have been drinking and decide that the "more sober" person will drive home; you then hand your keys over and let your friend take the wheel of your car.

Although you may have had good intentions in both scenarios, the fact is that under Michigan state law, you can be held legally responsible for knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to operate your vehicle.

Elements of the Crime

Every crime is made up of what the prosecutor calls "elements." For a crime to exist, each element of that crime must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A big difference between a DUI charge and a knowingly allowing DUI charge is the obvious addition of the word "knowingly." The word knowingly requires a presence of mind and possibly a specific intent to commit the crime as well. This is important because other kinds of DUI are general intent crimes. This element of "knowing" is likely the most difficult element for a prosecutor to prove and is the reason so few of these charges are written by the police.

Penalties for Allowing an Intoxicated Person to Operate

If you are charged with knowing allowing a person to operate while intoxicated (OWI) you could face significant penalties. The severity of the charge and the potential penalties you face will depend on the circumstances of your OWI case. As you might expect, if injury or death occurred, then the penalties are much greater. With a serious injury you could be looking at up to two years in prison and for a death, up to five years. There are significant fines and costs as well.

Driver License Sanctions

Knowingly allowing another person to drive is considered a non-moving violation. Therefore, it is not "abstracted" and will not ever appear on your driving record. This means there are no points and no driver license sanction. If you are convicted of knowingly allowing another person to drive, your license will not be restricted, suspended, or revoked.

Expungement of Knowing Allowing Intoxicated Person to Drive

Knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to drive is defined in Michigan Compiled Laws, Sec. 257.7625(2). This is the same exact statute that defines all the other forms of drunk driving, and it is quite long and difficult to read and fully understand. However, this much is very clear. Knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to drive is contained within this statute.

The law or statute covering or allowing expungement is Michigan Compiled Laws Sec. 780.621(g), and this law defines operating while intoxicated by simple reference to the 257.625 statute, without elaboration, thereby incorporating sub(2) as mentioned above. It says that 625 crimes cannot be expunged. None of this appears to have been changed by new Clean Slate legislation, so the crime of knowingly allowing an intoxicated person to drive is, like all drunk driving crimes, non-expungable.

Plea Bargaining to Knowingly Allowing an Intoxicated Person to Drive

In some cases, the Michigan DUI Lawyers at the Barone Defense Firm have been able to arrange for a client charged with OWI to plead guilty to knowingly allowing. When available and appropriate, this can be an outstanding result, primarily because this offense does not appear on the driving record and carries with it no license suspension or revocation. The plea is based on a legal fiction because the person allowing the intoxicated person to drive, and the intoxicated person are the same. Nevertheless, this is legally appropriate, and most judges will allow a plea to this added charge when it is offered by a prosecutor.

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Patrick Barone is the ONLY choice for DUI defense. He was realistic from the start and made it a point to look at my case before taking my money. As a business owner, when I think of attorneys, I think of the "shark infested waters. Patrick is a shark alright, but his prey is not the client; it's justice for his client. Ten stars Patrick!! Chris F.
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Attorney Patrick Barone was very helpful and helped me understand the charge and sentence absolutely clearly. He also guided me through step by step helping me form a statement. His instructions were clear and detailed. It was obvious he cared about me understanding every important detail within my case. I would absolutely recommend this defense firm to anyone in need. Aaron B.
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The Barone Defense Firm is the firm I recommend. They are truly concerned about the person, not just the legal issue, but the person as well. They are the most knowledgeable defense firm that I am aware of, having actually written the book on DWI Defense. If you are faced with a DWI you will not find a more professional and skilled law firm. But, most importantly, they care about how the accused individual recovers his or her life when the case is complete. Very remarkable group of lawyers. William H.