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Michigan DUI Laws


Michigan DUI Laws classify a drink driving offense into one of three:

1.) operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUIL);

2.) driving with an unlawful bodily alcohol level (UBAL); and

3.) operating a vehicle while impaired (OWI). All of these mean the same thing, driving under the influence, but of the three the least serious offense is OWI. To determine which offense you qualify, the arresting officer will perform field sobriety tests and if the tests register alcohol content within your system, you will be arrested.

For the state of Michigan a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more for all drivers, 0.02% or more for minors under 21, and 0.04% or more for commercial vehicle drivers are all considered DUI offenses.

Upon arrest, two cases will be filed against you. The first one is a court case and the other is a Driver’s License Appeal Division administrative case. Since the latter case is in charge of imposing the appropriate duration of license suspension, you need to request a hearing within 14 days of the arrest date. To file your request appropriately try to enlist the help of a DUI defense lawyer.

If you are convicted of DUI, the court will impose the appropriate penalties and fines of your offense:

1. First DUI conviction – jail time of up to 93 days, fines from $100 to $500, and license suspension for up to 6 months, but you can be eligible for a restricted license for 30 days;
2. Second DUI conviction – jail time of 5 days to 1 year, fines from $200 to $1,000, and license suspension for a minimum of 1 year; and
3. Third DUI conviction – jail time of 1 to 5 years, fines from $200 to $1,000, and license suspension for a minimum of 1 year. This third conviction is now considered a felony offense.

Aside from these sanctions there are also other possibilities that the court may impose. You will be asked to render community service from 360 hours to 180 days depending on the gravity of your offense. If you apply for a restricted license you will be required by Michigan DUI Laws to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

License plate confiscation and vehicle immobilization may be imposed by the court too. Plus, a $1,000 Driver Responsibility Fee will be collected from the convicted person.

Since you already have a DUI conviction you will have difficulty in getting your license back because you have to prove that you are insured. It may be that the insurance company will drop your policy or increase the policy rate. Either way it will be difficult and costly on your part.