If you are driving with a BAC of .08 BAC or higher, you are violating Michigan State Law. Drivers under that age of 21 and commercial drivers must observe a lower BAC level of .02. In addition to the OWI/DUI laws, Michigan also has the OWVI (Operating While Visibly Impaired Law), which applies to those drivers arrested while using drugs and/or alcohol.
If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DUI offense, the following administrative penalties are possible:
Fines from $200-$1,000.
A $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years.
You may need to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense.
Driving license is suspended for a minimum of 12 months.
Six points added to your driver’s license.
Confiscation of your driver’s license.
Vehicle is either forfeited or immobilized for 90 to 180 days.
If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DUI offense, the following criminal penalties are possible:
A probation sentence of 1 month to 1 year.
A jail sentence of 1 year to 5 years.
The Lookback Period
Michigan courts look back between 7-10 years to see if you had 2 previous DUI convictions; if so, the above penalties will apply.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor in Michigan
If there is serious bodily injury, it’s considered a third-degree felony. If a death is caused by the accident and the driver was intoxicated, it could be classified as a second- or even as a first-degree felony. DUI accidents without serious bodily injury are usually classified as misdemeanors.
The individual can do any of the following:
Plead Guilty or “No Contest” – the individual admits to everything with which he/she is charged and will accept whatever penalty the court imposes.
Plead Not Guilty and Fight It – the individual does not admit to anything with which he/she is charged and challenges the State of Michigan to meet its burden of proof.
Plea Bargaining – This usually only applies to first-time DUI/DWI offenders, as this lessens or eliminates the penalty of incarceration and replaces it with extended probation periods and costly other conditions.