Anytime a driver shows signs of impairment, even if their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level is below the legal limit, he or she can be charged with DUI, or driving under the influence. However, the State of Michigan does recognize specific levels which are used to determine if a driver is over the legal limit and how they shall be charged depending on what a driver’s level is. Now, in order for an officer to determine whether a driver’s BAC level is above or below the legal limit, they need to assess two things: the driver’s age and the type of vehicle they are driving.

  • When a driver is under the age of 21.

Drivers who are under the age of 21 should never have any amount of alcohol in their system as the legal age to consume an alcoholic beverage is 21. However, the State of Michigan will charge a driver with DUI who is under 21 years of age when their BAC level is .02 or higher. Does this mean he or she won’t face consequences if caught operating their vehicle with a BAC level that is below .02? Not exactly. An officer can still arrest a driver who has engaged in underage drinking if he or she was operating their vehicle in a reckless manner.

  • When a driver is 21 years of age or older.

If a driver is 21 or older, he or she generally won’t be charged with DUI unless their BAC level is recorded at .08 or higher. Now, states are looking to crack down on drunk drivers as they do account for a large percentage of roadway accidents so there are bills actively being passed to lower the legal limit to .05. Although there is no sure way to tell if Michigan will adopt a bill that would do this, it is important to understand that lawmakers are reviewing House Bills 4420 and 4421. To learn more about these bills that aim to lower the BAC limit in the State of Michigan to .05, click here.

  • When a driver is operating a commercial vehicle.

Drivers who operate commercial vehicles are held to a higher standard than those who operate a passenger vehicle. Why? Many of the commercial vehicles out traveling on our roadways are either transporting large loads, sometimes weighing 10,000 or 20,000 pounds, or hazardous materials. If a driver were to get behind the wheel of a commercial truck while under the influence of alcohol, they increase their chances of causing a wreck that would likely result in serious injuries or even fatalities.

What if I was arrested for DUI in Lansing, MI?

Was your BAC level above the legal limit? Did you know that if your BAC level is recorded at .17 or higher, your penalties will be enhanced, meaning they will be more severe than those that an offender would be faced with if their BAC level was between .08 and .16? Because the State of Michigan has laws set into place that punish DUI offenders harshly, it is recommended that you contact East Lansing, MI DUI attorney Stuart R. Shafer immediately. Attorney Stuart R. Shafer may be able to either get your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser degree so give his office a call to find out how he can assist with your case.

DUI attorneys


You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:

1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, MI 48906