Facing an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or drunk driving charge in the 85th District Court of Benzie County, Michigan can be a daunting task. However, a key part of managing this situation effectively is understanding the bond conditions the court might set. The court's presiding Judges - John D. Mead and David A. Thompson - are dedicated to upholding the law while ensuring public safety, which often involves enforcing rigorous bond conditions for OWI and drunk driving offenses.
Benzie County encompasses a range of charges related to OWI and drunk driving. These include standard impaired driving, operating while intoxicated, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher ("super drunk"), second offense OWI, felony 3rd offense OWI, zero tolerance for minors, and child endangerment. Each charge comes with its unique set of potential bond conditions.
When determining bond conditions, the judges typically consider several factors. These include your prior criminal record, your history of substance abuse, the seriousness of the offense charged, your employment status, your ties to the community, and others. Based on these factors, the court may impose certain conditions to ensure your court appearance and protect the public.
Common methods for alcohol testing as part of bond conditions include:
Preliminary Breath Tests (PBTs): This method requires a defendant to appear at a testing facility for breath tests, typically daily or weekly.
Transdermal Alcohol Tethers: These devices test the alcohol levels in sweat, sending data every 30 minutes.
In-Home Breathalyzers: These devices require scheduled or random tests, with the results digitally relayed to the appropriate authorities.
Ignition Interlock Devices: Installed in a vehicle, these devices require a successful breath test for the vehicle to start.
Urine Tests (EtG or EtS): These tests can detect alcohol consumption up to 72 hours before the test.
While bond conditions can appear restrictive, they are designed to ensure your appearance in court and maintain public safety. Working with an experienced attorney can help you navigate these conditions, potentially negotiate better terms, and manage the overall process more efficiently.
Facing an OWI or drunk driving charge is undeniably challenging, but understanding the process, including bond conditions in the 85th District Court of Benzie County, can help you prepare for what lies ahead. Don't hesitate to seek legal advice to advocate for your interests during this difficult time.