DUI & DWI Penalties in Michigan

DUI & DWI Penalties in Michigan

What You Can Be Charged With

Michigan has a number of separate but related charges for drivers who are impaired due to something they have ingested. These charges are to ensure that dangerous drivers don’t slip through the system unpunished:

 

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI): Your inability to operate a motor vehicle was visible to the arresting officer, most likely due to the presence of alcohol or other drugs in your body. You don’t need a BAC of 0.08 or above to be charged with OWVI.
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI): Alcohol or drugs in your body substantially affected your ability so you could not operate a motor vehicle safely. OWI can also mean that―when tested in the field, at the police station, or at a hospital―your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above 0.08%.
  • Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine: Even if you don’t appear intoxicated or impaired, if you have even a trace of these drugs in your blood (as determined by a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine), you can be charged.
  • Under Age 21 Operating with Any Bodily Alcohol Content: As a minor, you’ll be charged if you have a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07 or any presence of alcohol other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.

When You Go to Court

Generally, expect to go to court and have adjudication within 77 days. If you’re convicted of OWI you could face:

  • A $100 to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Six points added to driver record.

If you’re convicted of OWVI, you could face:

  • Up to a $300 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license restriction for 90 days (180 days if impaired by a controlled substance).
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Four points on driver record.

What happens if you get a second conviction for OWI within seven years? A judge could choose to give you:

  • A $200 to $1,000 fine.
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • Thirty to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscated.
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Six points on driver record.

A second OWVI conviction within seven years could mean:

  • A $200 to $1,000 fine.
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • Thirty to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Four points on driver record.

If you have been convicted of either OWI or OWVI twice in the past 10 years, and are then convicted for OWI, it’s considered a felony. You’ll face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • One to five years imprisonment.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • Sixty to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for one to three years unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Six points on driver record.

If you have been convicted of either OWI or OWVI twice in the past 10 years, and are then convicted for OWVI, it, too, is considered a felony. You’ll face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • One to five years in prison.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • Sixty to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for one to three years unless forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Four points on driver record.

It also is a felony to:

  • Cause a death while driving. You’ll face up to 15 years imprisonment OR a $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
  • Cause a serious injury while driving. You’ll face up to five years imprisonment OR a $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.

What Can You Do?

Obviously, the best way to stay out of trouble―and minimize your risk of hurting people or property―is to avoid situations where you will have to drive after you’ve been drinking. Whether that means programming the phone number of a taxi company into your cell phone before you begin drinking or arranging for someone from home to pick you up at the end of the night, it’s got to be better than facing the penalties above. Clearly, if it’s too late and you have been charged with OWI or OWVI (even if it’s for the first time), you stand a chance of being hit with some severe consequences if you are convicted. And these penalties could really cramp your lifestyle. That’s why before you first appear in court in front of a judge, you should consult an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. Even a free initial consultation can help you get an idea of what you’re in for and how to best approach your case. Michigan’s State Department provides very comprehensive additional information about drinking and driving laws in its informative write-up, Substance Abuse and Driving.

If you had DUI or DWI, and also required to file in Michigan State – our company is best selection for you. Our certified agents will help you right away with affordable prices.

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