Michigan’s Drunk Driving Criminal Laws

 

Drunk Driving Offenses
There are three drunk driving offenses in Michigan:
1) Operating under the influence of intoxicating Liquor (OUIL)
2) Driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level/content (UBAL/UBAC)
3) Operating while impaired (OWI)

Of these three, operating while impaired is the least serious offense, and it even sounds less offensive than the other two. Because these are criminal offenses, the prosecutor must prove various elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

For OUIL, the driver was:
1) Operating a motor vehicle
2) Under the influence of alcohol/controlled substances
3) Alcohol substantially affected the ability to operate the motor vehicle

For UBAC/UBAL:
1) BAC must be greater than .10
2) BAC must be greater than .10 while the driver was operating the vehicle

*UBAC is easier to prove, so prosecutors usually include it to gain a conviction

For OWI:
1) The driver had alcohol in his/her system
2) Was operating a vehicle
3) That the alcohol or substance in the driver’s system had impaired the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle

These offenses apply to both minors and adults, the difference being that Michigan is a zero tolerance state, which means that any amount of alcohol in a minor’s system will result in a criminal charge. It is important to note, however, that the prosecutor must prove the defendant guilty of the above elements “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

A conviction or plea of guilty of OUIL or UBAC, means a maximum sentence of up to $500.00 in fines plus the costs of prosecution, up to 93 days in jail, and up to 45 days of community service.

A second DUI, OUIL, or UBAC in Michigan increases the fines plus costs up to $1,000.00, and imprisonment up to 1 year in jail. DUI Third Offense is much more severe

A conviction or guilty plea to OWI will result in a maximum sentence up to $300.00 in fines plus costs, up to 93 days in jail, and up to 45 days of community service.

A third time conviction for drunk driving will result in a felony punishable by 1 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.00.

In addition to the fines, costs, and potential jail time, a convicted person’s license will be suspended or revoked for varying lengths of time depending on the circumstances.

OUIL or UBAL/UBAC

License will be suspended for not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years, without restriction for the first 30 days. If the drunk driver has a prior conviction, the license may be revoked if the convictions are within a certain duration of each other.

OWI

License may be suspended for not less than 93 days or more than one year, but a restricted license is available immediately. A restricted license will allow the convicted person to drive to, from and during work, to alcohol treatment, school, community service, or probation. He or she must carry proof of destination and hours to show law enforcement.

One of the harshest penalties next to time in jail is if at the sentencing the judge confiscates the vehicle the drunk driver operated. The vehicle does not have to belong to the operator-it can be anyone else’s vehicle. It doesn’t matter if the vehicle is necessary for the other members of the drunk driver’s family.

Judges are required to order the drunk driver to go through screening for alcohol and substance abuse. For second offenders, rehabilitation is required. Rehab and drug/alcohol testing are all done at the drunk driver’s expense.

In addition to any penalties incurred by the court, drunk drivers face steep hikes in auto insurance coverage. First offenders are typically launched into the high-risk pool of insurance companies, which means you will likely pay three times more and for less coverage.

How to Calculate Blood Alcohol Content

Calculating the blood alcohol content (BAC) is not an exact science. It is also an art in the hands of those collecting and testing bodily specimens for alcohol. A 12-ounce can of beer or shot of whiskey may result in a different BAC depending on a person’s gender, race, height, weight, metabolic rate, and medical history, among other things. We can, however, use the following steps to estimate BAC levels:

1) Count the number of drinks* consumed.

*A drink is defined as one ounce of 100 proof liquor, one 12-ounce bottle of beer, or five ounces of wine.

2) Look at the chart, below, for the appropriate BAC.

3) From the BAC on the chart below, subtract the amount of alcohol eliminated by your body’s metabolism since the first drink. The rate of elimination can vary again based on race, gender, weight, etc. Some people use .015% which is a slow metabolic rate, others use a .02% per hour. Use both as a high and low rate to arrive at a reasonable range.

The formula above and data below are for general information purposes only, and should not be relied upon as fact.

The formula above and data below are for general information purposes only, and should not be used in a criminal prosecution or civil case.
Chart for Females
Number of Drinks

Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
90lb .053 .106 .159 .212 .265 .318 .371 .424 .477 .530 .583 .636
100lb .047 .094 .141 .188 .235 .282 .329 .376 .423 .470 .517 .564
110lb .042 .084 .126 .168 .210 .252 .294 .336 .378 .420 .482 .504
120lb .038 .076 .114 .152 .190 .228 .266 .304 .342 .380 .418 .456
130lb .036 .072 .108 .144 .180 .216 .228 .252 .324 .360 .396 .432
140lb .033 .066 .099 .132 .165 .198 .231 .264 .297 .330 .363 .396
150lb .031 .062 .093 .124 .155 .186 .217 .248 .279 .310 .341 .372
160lb .028 .056 .084 .112 .140 .168 .196 .224 .252 .280 .308 .336
170lb .027 .054 .081 .108 .135 .162 .189 .216 .243 .270 .297 .324
180lb .025 .052 .078 .104 .130 .156 .182 .208 .234 .260 .286 .312
190lb .025 .050 .075 .100 .125 .150 .175 .200 .225 .250 .275 .300
200lb .023 .046 .069 .092 .115 .138 .161 .184 .207 .230 .253 .276
210lb .022 .044 .0666 .088 .110 .132 .154 .176 .198 .220 .242 .26
# of drinks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Chart for Males

Number of Drinks

Body Weight 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
100lbs .038 .075 .113 .150 .188 .225 .263 .300 .338 .375 .413 .450
110lbs .034 .066 .103 .137 .172 .207 .241 .275 .309 .344 .379 .412
120lbs .031 .063 .094 .125 .156 .188 .219 .250 .281 .313 .344 .375
130lbs .029 .058 .087 .116 .145 .174 .203 .232 .261 .290 .320 .348
140lbs .027 .054 .080 .107 .134 .161 .188 .214 .241 .268 .295 .321
150lbs .025 .050 .075 .100 .125 .151 .176 .201 .226 .251 .276 .301
160lbs .023 .047 .070 .094 .117 .141 .164 .188 .211 .234 .258 .281
170lbs .022 .045 .066 .088 .110 .132 .155 .178 .200 .221 .244 .265
180lbs .021 .042 .063 .083 .104 .125 .146 .167 .188 .208 .229 .250
190lbs .020 .040 .059 .079 .099 .119 .138 .158 .179 .198 .217 .237
200lbs .019 .038 .056 .075 .094 .113 131 .150 .169 .188 .206 225
210lbs .018 .036 .053 .071 .090 .107 .125 .143 .161 .179 .197 214
220lbs .017 .034 .051 .068 .085 .102 .119 .136 .153 .170 .188 .205
230lbs .016 .032 .049 .065 .081 .098 .115 .130 .147 .163 .180 .196
240lbs .016 .031 .047 .063 .078 .094 .109 .125 .141 .156 .172 .180
# of drinks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Example: A 170 lb. man began drinking beer at 5:00 PM, and consumed eight 12 oz. cans by 7:00 PM. He was in a car crash at 7:30 PM. What was his BAC at the time of the crash?

STEPS #1 & #2: According to the male chart above, eight beers for a 170 lb. man results in a BAC of .178

STEP #3: From .178 subtract (.015% x 2.5 hours), which results in a BAC of .1405 at crash time. .015% is a slower dissipation rate, and 2.5 hours is the time elapsed between the first beer and the crash. Then, from .178% subtract (.02% x 2.5 hours), which results in a BAC of .128%. This time we used a faster rate of dissipation of .02%. The BAC range is, therefore, .1405% to .128%, both of which qualify this man to be charged with OUIL.

Related Subjects:
DUI, License Restoration, Traffic Offenses
DUI First Offense
DUI Second Offense
DUI Third Offense