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OWPCS Charges

Under Michigan state law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you have any trace of a controlled substance in your body. Law enforcement officers typically use blood tests to determine the presence of drugs in OWI suspects, but urine tests can also be used. Both tests are problematic if you understand the detection times of certain Schedule 1 drugs, which is why it is very important to contact a Michigan DUI drug lawyer immediately.

Illicit Drug Detection Times

Many drugs are detectable in the body long after the intoxicating effects of the drug have passed. Marijuana, for example, typically has an intoxicating effect that lasts for a few hours at most, but marijuana metabolites can be detected in a blood or urine sample as long as 30 days after consumption. This means that, under Michigan's current OWI laws, a person who smoked a small amount of marijuana a month ago could still be convicted of driving under the influence.

Medical Marijuana Program

Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, licensed medical marijuana users will not be prosecuted under the Operating With a Presence of Controlled Substance (OWPCS) statute. However, a clear distinction has not yet been made to determine what constitutes "under the influence" for the purpose of enforcing the statute.


The penalties for a first-time OWPCS conviction are essentially the same as the penalties for a first OWI offense. The penalties include:

  • A fine between $100 and $500
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of mandatory community service
  • Suspension of driver's license for 30 days plus 150 days of license restriction
  • Six points assessed on driving record
  • $500 Driver Responsibility fee for two years
Client Reviews
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.
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.
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.