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Michigan DUI Laws

Michigan DUI laws. Drunk driving in the state of Michigan.

Michigan DUI Laws


Michigan, like most states, has what is referred to as an implied consent law. When you obtain a Michigan driver’s license, you are agreeing to submit yourself to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine if you are driving under the influence which is called a operating while intoxicated (OWI). Michigan also has an operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) law which you can be charged with as a result of any amount of intoxicant in your blood. This charge will result in the possible loss of your license and fines.

Refusal to be tested can result in penalties which are consistent with the drunk driving laws of the state. You can be arrested even if you don’t show obvious signs of intoxication and convicted of an OWI in Michigan without the chemical tests. The influence can be drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two which includes inhalants. Michigan takes OWI offenses very seriously. The first refusal will result in the loss of your driver’s license for one year and six points added to your license. The second refusal within seven years will net you a license suspension of 2 years. Be aware that Michigan does not give hardship relief on the license revocation for the second refusal. Since Michigan does not have an administrative license suspension period, you will not be given the chance to restore you license after a given time frame.

It is considered a crime in Michigan to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Sentences are more severe for persons found to have a BAC of 0.15% or more. The “Per Se” BAC does not need any other proof of intoxication other than the 0.08% level for you to be convicted. The enhanced penalties applied to individuals with 0.15 to 0.20% will include more jail time, harsher fines, and driver’s license sanctions.

Michigan law states that drivers under 21 may not be 0.02% or more. OWI’s will be issued to 18 year olds or younger individuals with a measurable BAC of .02%, persons over 21 with a BAC of 0.08% and commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or more. Since the implication of the zero tolerance law, anyone under the age of 21 caught driving under the influence with a BAC of more than 0.0% will be charged with an OWI. Over the counted cough medicine taken in the prescribed dosage can put you over the limit.

Penalties for DUI Arrests


The first conviction will result in up to 93 days of jail time and $100.00 to $500.00 in fines. You will also be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 for the next two years. Your license will also be suspended for up to 6 months with 6 points added to your license. You may be eligible for a restricted license after you have served 30 days of your suspended license. You could also receive 360 hours of community service and be required to install the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. In addition your vehicle may be immobilized.

The second offense will result in up to 5 days to 1 year of jail time and $200.00 to $1,000.00 in fines. You will also be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 for the next two years. Your license will also be suspended for up to 1 year with 6 points added to your license. Your license plate will be confiscated and your vehicle will be immobilized for 90 to 180 days unless it is forfeited You could also receive 30 to 90 days of community service and be required to install the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle.

The third offence is considered a felony in the state of Michigan. It will result in 1 to 5 years of imprisonment with 30 days to 1 year possible probation and $200.00 to $1,000.00 in fines. You will also be required to pay a Driver Responsibility Fee of $1,000.00 for the next two years. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year with 6 points added to your license. Your license plate will be confiscated and your vehicle will be immobilized for 90 to 180 days unless it is forfeited You could also receive 60 to 180 days of community service and be required to install the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle.