Operating while intoxicated in Michigan can jeopardize your future and impact your job in some cases. A person charged with drunk driving in Michigan can face jail time, license suspension, driver responsibility fees, vehicle immobilization and numerous licensee points. Contact an experienced attorney to see if they can reduce the negative impacts to your future with a good defense strategy.
Serious penalties for OWI in Michigan.
Michigan is one of the States that takes a strong stand against intoxicated drivers and carries more severe penalties when injuries occur because of a drunk driver. The consequences for an “operating while intoxicated” (OWI) charge are specific to the offense and penalties have a wide range depending on individual circumstances of a case. If you are arrested for a first drunk driving offense, the penalties may be mild compared to a second or third offense of OWI. If injury occurs or turns into a wrongful death situation, due to OWI, there is a possibility of extended jail time, increased penalties and fines. Drunk Driving is considered an illegal criminal act in Michigan and the consequences of operating a vehicle while intoxicated can severely and negatively impact a negligent driver’s future, no matter how the case turns out.
Michigan drunk driving law.
Under Michigan law, it is illegal to drive: 1) while intoxicated, or impaired, by alcohol, controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance; 2) with a bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more; 3) with a bodily alcohol content of 0.17 or more; and 4) with any amount of cocaine or a Schedule 1 controlled substance in your body. If drivers are under 21, it is against the law to: 1) drive with a bodily alcohol content of 0.02 or more, or with any presence of alcohol in your body except for that consumed at a recognized religious ceremony; and 2) buy, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages.
A first drunk driving charge is a misdemeanor resulting in a suspended license for up to six months with a fine of $100-$500 in most cases. There is also a possibility of up to 93 days of jail time. The judge will impact orders for community service up 360 hours, forced ignition lock devices and vehicle immobilization for up to 180 days. There will be a suspension of driver’s license for 30 days with a restriction for up to 150 days along with 6 points added to the driver’s record.
A second drunk driving charge is a misdemeanor often resulting in license suspension for a minimum of one year, but can vary with order from judge. Fees can vary from $200 to $1,000 plus the additional Michigan driver responsibility fee of $1,000. Jail time can range from 5-365 days, and 6 points will be added for a driver license record along with vehicle plate forfeiture. Community service forced ignition locking devices and vehicle mobilization can also be ordered by the judge.
A third offense drunk driving falls into a felony class, with a minimum of one year driver’s license suspension and minimum jail time of one year and the maximum jail time of five years. Automobile plates will be taken, and 6 points will be added to a driver license record. Sometimes community service, forced ignition locking devices and vehicle immobilization is ordered unless it has been forfeited.
An OWI-experienced lawyer may find a way to lessen penalties including jail time and fees for a drunk driving charge.