Many things can happen between being charged with operating while intoxicated, or OWI, and facing an actual conviction for the accusation. Many times, it may be possible to have charges dismissed before a person ever gets to a trial. It is important to remember, though, that even after charges are dismissed, a person can still face OWI charges if a judge decides to have them reinstated.
A Michigan woman was accused of drunk driving in July 2011 when police found her very intoxicated inside her car. Her two children were in the car with her and she was reportedly found unresponsive behind the wheel. She also had a cup of vodka with her.
She was initially charged with operating a vehicle with occupants under the age of 16, having an open intoxicant with her, and operating a motor vehicle with a very high blood-alcohol content level. Reports show that she had a BAC that was more than five times the legal limit.
Last month, a judge dismissed the charges against the woman based on the argument that it could not be proven that she was actually driving. The car was stopped and was parked on the side of the road when police came upon it.
However, just this week another judge had the charges reinstated. No reasons have been given for why, specifically, the judge chose to reinstate the charges. Likely, this case will result in the argument of whether or not a person can be charged with an OWI if they are not driving and their car is parked off the roadway.
It will be important to see how this case turns out, as many other Michigan residents charged with OWI may find themselves in the same position. However, this is also a good reminder that even after one judge dismisses charges, they can still be reinstated. Having the support of a legal representative can be very important so that a person's rights are not violated in the process.
Source: mlive.com, "Drunken driving charges reinstated against Portage teacher," Anthony Smigiel, April 19, 2012