Penalties for Drunk Driving in Michigan

Penalties for Drunk Driving in Michigan

People accused of drunk driving in Michigan have many rights at stake if they are convicted. Drinking and driving is taken very seriously in Michigan, and penalties range depending upon the blood alcohol concentration of the driver. Generally, drivers over the age of 21 subject to a BAC limit of 0.08, and drivers under the age of 21 face a BAC limit of 0.02, which is essentially a zero tolerance law.

BAC Between 0.08 and 0.17, First Offense

First offenders below a 0.17 BAC are subject to up to 93 days in jail, a fine up to $500 and a maximum of 360 community service hours. Drivers may also have their licenses suspended for up to 180 days and will receive six points on their driver's license. If drivers refuse a breath test, their driver's licenses will be suspended for one year. If a breath test is refused a second time within seven years, a driver's license may be suspended for two years.

BAC Higher than 0.17, First Offense

Michigan has a law that enhances the penalties if a driver is driving with a BAC over 0.17. The driver faces fines up to $700, a maximum of 180 days in jail, and a maximum of 360 community service hours. Drivers may lose their licenses for up to one year and will receive six points on their licenses. Drivers may be able to get a restricted driver's license if they agree to an ignition interlock device.

Other Penalties

In addition to drunk driving charges, drivers can also be subject to legal charges and penalties if they are driving while under the influence of illegal drugs and some prescription medications. The penalties range depending upon the type of drug used. Drivers should be aware that some over-the-counter and prescription medications that cause drowsiness or excitability may affect their ability to drive.

Drivers accused of driving while being intoxicated or impaired face severe penalties. An attorney specializing in OWI defense can help Michigan residents accused of drunk driving protect their legal rights.

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