Michigan DUI / DWI Laws

Michigan DUI & OWI Laws: Penalties & Fines

A driver in Michigan may be subject to varying penalties for a first offense. If the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above, the penalties will be less than if the BAC is .17% or higher. Michigan refers to DUIs as OWIs (Operating While Intoxicated) or if the driving is impaired and the BAC is below .08% the driver may be charged with an OWVI (Operating While visibly Impaired). Penalties increase if a minor is present in the vehicle or if there is bodily injury.

First Offense OWI/DUI in Michigan

If BAC is below .17 and this is a first offense:

  • Up to 180 days license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver's license

If BAC is .17 or higher and this is a first offense:

  • Up to one year license suspension
  • 6 points on a driver's license
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days license suspension is required to receive a restricted driver's license. Convicted drunk drivers have limited driving privileges, are prohibited from operating a vehicle without an approved and properly installed ignition interlock device, and are responsible for all installation and upkeep costs for the device.

Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic one-year driver's license suspension.

  • First offense refusals to submit under implied consent laws carry mandatory administrative license suspension of one (1) year

Second Offense OWI/DUI in Michigan

If you are convicted of a second DUI in Michigan, you may lose your driver's license. In Michigan, if you are convicted of two drunken driving convictions within 7 years, the Michigan Secretary of State will suspend your driver's license for one year.

For a second refusal to take a chemical test within seven years, the suspension is two years. In addition, restricted licenses based upon personal hardship are no longer recognized by the court. Instead, to reinstate a driver's license, you must apply for a license reinstatement through Michigan’s Driver's License Appeal Division, or DLAD, after the suspension period has ended.

Third Offense OWI/DUI in Michigan

If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DUI offense, the following administrative penalties are possible:

  • 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 up to five years.
  • Six points added to your driver’s license.
  • Confiscation of your driver’s license.
  • Vehicle is either forfeited or immobilized for one to three years.

Criminal Penalties

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.
  • Fines from $500-$5,000.
  • 60-180 days of community service.
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