Penalties For Drunk Driving

The following are the penalties for drunk driving in Michigan:

Other FAQs:

Person Under 21 with Blood Alcohol Content (ZERO TOLERANCE)

Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .02 to .08, or any presence of alcohol in your body

· Blood Alcohol Content .02% - .08%

· May include fine of $250

· 360 hours of community service

· Second offense (within 7 years) - results in more severe penalties

Operating While Impaired / Driving While Impaired

This means that because of alcohol or other drugs you consumed, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired

· Below .08% Blood Alcohol Content

· Prosecutor must prove "due to the consumption of alcoholic liquor, or controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance, the person's ability to operate the vehicle is visibly impaired."

· Possibly up to 93 days jail

· Four points added to driving record

· $500 fines and costs

· Costs of prosecution

· Driver's responsibility fees imposed by the Secretary of State

Operating While Intoxicated / Driving Under the Influence / Drunk Driving

· .08% - .17% Blood Alcohol Content

· First offense up to 93 days jail

· Six points added to driving record

· $500 fine

· 45 days community service

· Driver license suspension first 30 days hard suspension, 150 days restricted

· Costs of prosecution

· Driver's responsibility fees imposed by the Secretary of State

Super Drunk/ Operating Under the Influence High Blood Alcohol Content

A person convicted of this variation is looking at the toughest punishments for first-time offenders

· .17% Blood Alcohol Content or higher

· Up to 180 days jail

· Six points added to driving record

· Probation up to two years

· 1 year treatment

· $200 - $700 fines and costs

· 1-year license suspension with first 45 days hard suspension then the balance on a restricted basis

· 320 days interlock

Super Drunk: Restricted License with Ignition Interlock Device for 320 Days

The Secretary of State will suspend driving privileges for 45 days (no driving) once a Super Drunk Driving conviction is abstracted on a driver's record. After 45 days, the person is eligible for a restricted license and can only operate a vehicle with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device [BAIID] on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. The restricted license is limited to operating a vehicle for the following purposes:

· To and from residence and employment, and during employment

· To and from alcohol or drug education or treatment program

· To and from regularly scheduled treatment for serious medical condition

· To and from probation, community service and school

The ignition interlock device requires a person to provide breath samples when the vehicle is started and during intervals while the vehicle is being operated. Individuals who violate their restrictions or register .025% or higher on the ignition interlock, will obtain another license penalty equal to the above, another 45 days hard suspension and another 320 days restricted on ignition interlock. The new law requires vehicle impoundment, even if the vehicle is owned by someone else, when a person is caught driving without the interlock device after being placed on Super Drunk restrictions

Judges are very hard on "super drunk" drivers. Our office highly recommends seeking treatment in outpatient or inpatient substance abuse programs that emphasizes on getting treatment prior to any court date you may have. The reasoning behind this is to show the Court that you are fully committed to your sobriety. Call our office for referrals to good treatment programs in the area. 248-949-1211.

Operating with the Presence of Any Drug

Having even a small trace of these drugs in your body, even if you do not appear to be intoxicated or impaired. This can be determined through a chemical test.

· Up to 93 days jail

· Six points added to driving record

· $100 - $500 fine

· 360 hours of community service

· Possible driver's license suspension for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days

· Possible vehicle immobilization

· Possible ignition interlock

Operating Under the Influence Causing Serious Bodily Injury / Drunk Driving Causing Serious Injury

· Up to 5 years imprisonment

· Six points added to driving record

· License indefinitely revoked, minimum 1 year

· $1,000 driver responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years

· $1,000 - $5,000 fines and costs

· Vehicle immobilization up to 180 days unless forfeited

Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death / Drunk Driving Causing Death

· Up to 15 years imprisonment, 20 years if emergency responder death

· Six points added to driving record

· $1,000 driver responsibility fee for 2 consecutive years

· $2,500 - $10,000 fines and costs

· Vehicle immobilization up to 180 days unless forfeited

Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle

· Up to a $100 fine

· Points added to driving record

· First offense - no action taken against driver's license

· Second offense - driver's license suspended for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 60 days

· Third offense - driver's license suspended for 60 days, followed by restrictions for 305 days

· Alcohol screening may be required

Should you take the breath test when stopped by police?

YES! We recommend that you take both the roadside preliminary breath test (PBT) and the official breathalyzer.

The roadside Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) is the initial test that is administered once you are pulled over. If you do not consent to this test, you will receive a civil infraction, which carries a $150 fine plus court costs. However, once you have been arrested, there is an official breathalyzer test administered at the station. If you refuse the breathalyzer test, your driver's license will be automatically suspended for a period of 1 year.

Michigan's Implied Consent Law

If you are arrested for drunk or drugged driving, you are required to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or the presence of drugs in your body. Under Michigan's Implied Consent law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test.

Refusing to take this test has driver's license consequences that are separate from those that result from any conviction that flows from the traffic stop. You may request an administrative hearing regarding the alleged refusal. At the hearing, the law enforcement officer would have to prove certain things before the statutory consequences would apply. If you do not request the hearing, or if the officer proves his or her case at the hearing, the following will happen:

  • Six points will be added to your driving record.
  • Your license will be suspended for 1 year if it is the first time you refused to take the blood alcohol content test under the Implied Consent law.
  • Your license will be suspended for 2 years if you refused to take the test one or more times within the preceding 7 years. There are no hardship appeals in circuit court for a restricted license in this situation.

If you refuse to take the test, or if the test shows that your BAC is 0.08% or higher, the law enforcement officer will destroy your driver license, and will issue a paper permit to you. You may drive on the paper permit until your criminal case is resolved in court.

Restoration of Driver's License

When you lose your driver's license after a DUI, you lose more than just your freedom. You are also stripped of your ability to get to and from work, medical appointments, family functions and important meetings. Restoration of your driver's license after a DUI will restore your life and ability to provide for your family. The Law Offices of Raymond A. Cassar, P.L.C., is a Farmington Hills Criminal Defense firm with a very effective record of restoring driver's licenses through the Michigan DLAD or DAAD appeals process. Our team of experienced attorneys works together to represent you through the entire DLAD appeals process. In the event your license cannot be restored through DLAD, we may be able to help you obtain a hardship driver's license so you can start to get your life back to normal while you are waiting for your suspension or revocation period to end.

We have one of the best license restoration records in Michigan.

Source: Michigan Secretary of State Substance Abuse and Driving website