If a Driver is Impaired, Are They Automatically At Fault for an Accident?

man sitting on ground upset next to car and a beer bottle

When an accident occurs and someone is injured or killed, everyone begins looking for who is to blame. If there is alcohol involved, the blame almost always falls on the impaired driver.

OWI Accidents and Criminal Liability

When a driver admits to being impaired at the time of an accident, the case can quickly become a criminal OWI case. However, the driver’s impairment may not have been the true cause of the accident.

The accident may have actually been caused by:

  • The other driver engaging in unsafe driving behavior
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Speeding
  • Vehicle malfunctions

In any case, it’s important to establish the true reason for the accident. Providing proof that the impaired driver did not cause the accident is an important defense against criminal charges.

Potential Penalties for an OWI Accident Case

If convicted of OWI causing injury or death, the driver faces:

  • Felony charges
  • Up to 15 years in prison
  • Thousands of dollars in fines
  • License suspension
  • Michigan Driver Responsibility Fees
  • Punitive damages

In order to be convicted for an OWI accident, the prosecution must provide evidence that the driver’s impairment was the direct cause of the accident. This is why it is crucial to look further into the events leading to the crash to determine whether or not the impaired driver was truly at fault and thus, criminally responsible.

Michigan OWI Accident Defense Attorneys

It can be complicated to establish fault after a car accident, but especially so if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Our team at Levine & Levine Attorneys at Law can look further into the details of the accident to collect evidence supporting that the accident was not directly a result of your alleged impairment. Discuss the details of your situation with our team by calling (269) 218-8880 or requesting a consultation online here.