Trenton Drunk Driving Lawyer

Summary Of Michigan's Impaired Driving Laws:

Require swift and sure action resulting in severe consequences for drunk drivers. Driving or "Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)", alcohol or other drugs, or with a bodily alcohol content of .08 or more is illegal. Drivers with a bodily alcohol content of .08 or more are presumed to be under the influence. Driving "Operating While Visibly Impaired (OVI)" prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle if his or her ability is visibly impaired because of consumption of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance or both. A person who is "Operating While Visibly Impaired" would have a bodily alcohol content of more than .02, but less than .08. It is illegal for drivers under age 21 to operate a vehicle if they have any bodily alcohol content or "Zero Tolerance." In Michigan, it is also illegal for people under the legal drinking age of 21 to buy, possess, consume, or transport alcoholic beverages.

These Laws Furthermore State:

  • Require your license to be surrendered and cut up (physically destroyed) at the time of arrest for drunk driving.
  • Require a mandatory 30-day driver license suspension for even a first conviction.
  • Require 5 days to one year of consecutive jail time and/or 30 to 90 days of community service for a second conviction of drunk driving.
  • Include a 5-year felony for a conviction for drunk driving or driving while license suspended (DWLS) that causes a long-term incapacitating injury to another person.
  • Include a 15-year felony for a conviction for drunk driving or DWLS causing a death.
  • Eliminate hardship appeals for habitual drunk drivers.
  • If you are arrested a second time for any alcohol offense within 7 years, you are considered a repeat offender.
  • If you are convicted of a second drunk driving or third DWLS offense, your vehicle will be immobilized for 90 to 180 days.
  • If you are revoked for a third drunk driving conviction within 10 years or have 4 additional suspensions/revocations within 7 years resulting from driving while suspended/revoked, you will be denied vehicle registration of any vehicle in your name until you are relicensed.

If You Drink And Drive:

  • You may be stopped by a law enforcement officer. You may be asked to take some sobriety tests including a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) at the roadside to determine whether you are under the influence of alcohol.
  • If you refuse to take the PBT, you will be charged with a civil infraction and fined up to $100 plus court costs.
  • Persons under age 21 will also have two points added to their driving record.

If You Are Arrested:

  • You will be required to take a chemical test to determine your bodily alcohol content or presence of another drug in your blood. Under Michigan's Implied Consent Law, you are considered to have given your consent to this test.
  • If you refuse, six points will be added to your driving record and your license will be suspended for one year.
  • If you have previously refused to take the test, six points will be added to your driving record and your license will be suspended for one to two years for a second refusal within seven years of a first refusal.
  • If you refuse to take the test under the Implied Consent Law, or if the test shows your bodily alcohol content is .08 or more, your driver license will be confiscated and cut up by the officer.
  • If you are arrested for a second drunk driving or third DWLS offense, your metal license plate will be confiscated.

You Can Be Charged With:

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired, means that because of alcohol or other drugs in your body, your ability to operate a motor vehicle was visibly impaired.
  • Operating While Intoxicated, means the alcohol, controlled substance or drugs in your body substantially affected your driving ability so that you could not operate a motor vehicle safely.
  • Operating With Any Drugs, means operating a motor vehicle with any amount of controlled substance.
  • Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content, means having a bodily alcohol content of .02 to .07 or any presence of alcohol, other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.
  • Operating a Vehicle with a Passenger Under Age 16, means if you transport a passenger who is under 16 years of age and have any alcohol equal to or greater then .02.
  • Owner of Vehicle Allows Impaired Person to Drive Vehicle, means the owner of a vehicle who loans his or her vehicle to a visibly impaired or intoxicated person. Contact an attorney for further details.

You May Be Convicted:

If you are convicted of drunk or impaired driving, the court may order imprisonment, fines and costs, community service, alcohol treatment or education, vehicle forfeiture, immobilization, or a combination of these penalties.

Criminal Penalties For "Operating While Extremely Intoxicated" or "Super Drunk Driving" where blood alcohol content is .17 or greater

First Offense

  • $200 to $700 Fine and/or
  • Up to 6 Months in Jail however if a local jurisdictions adopts the law it will be 93 days in jail and a misdemeanor and/or
  • Up to 360 hour of Community Service
  • Driver License Suspension 1 Year (No Restricted License for First 45 Days) followed by a restricted driver's license with an interlock device where the car will not start if it detects alcohol .25 or greater
  • Possible motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible forfeiture of motor vehicle
  • One Year of substance abuse treatment and/or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other community based support group
  • 6 points

Criminal Penalties For "Operating While Intoxicated" where blood alcohol content is below .17

First Offense

  • $100 to $500 Fine and/or
  • Up to 93 Days Jail and/or
  • Up to 45 Days Community Service
  • Driver License Suspension 6 Months (No Restricted License for First 30 Days)
  • Possible motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible forfeiture of motor vehicle
  • 6 points

Second Offense
(Or Any Prior Drunk Driving Conviction Within 7 Years)

  • $200 to $1,000 Fine AND
  • 5 days to 1 Year Jail and/or
  • 30 to 90 Days Community Service
  • Driver License Revocation minimum of 1 year
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory motor vehicle immobilization 90 to 180 days unless forfeited
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 6 points

Third Offense
(Or Any 2 Prior Drunk Driving Convictions Within 10 Years)

  • $500-$5,000 fine AND either of the following:
  • 1-5 years prison
  • Community service 60-180 days and probation with 30 days to 1 year
  • Driver License Revocation 5 years
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory motor vehicle immobilization for 1-3 years
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 6 points

Criminal Penalties For "Operating While Visibly Impaired"

First Offense

  • Up to $300 Fine and/or
  • Up to 93 Days Jail and/or
  • Up to 45 Days Community Service
  • If alcohol violation Driver License Restrictions 90 days
  • If controlled substance Driver License Restrictions 180 days
  • Possible motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible forfeiture of motor vehicle
  • 4 points

Second Offense
(Or Any Prior Drunk Driving Conviction Within 7 Years)

  • $200 to $1,000 Fine AND
  • 5 days to 1 year Jail and/or
  • 30 to 90 Days Community Service
  • Driver License Revocation for a minimum of one year
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory motor vehicle immobilization 180 days unless forfeited
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 4 points

Third Offense
(Or Any 2 Prior Drunk Driving Convictions Within 10 Years)

  • $500-$5,000 fine AND either of the following:
  • 1-5 years prison
  • Community service 60-180 days and probation with 30 days to 1 year
  • Driver License Revocation 5 years
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory motor vehicle immobilization for 1-3 years
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 4 points

Penalties For "Accident Causing Long-Term Incapacitating Injury" (Felony)

First Offense Only

  • $1,000 to $5,000 Fine and/or
  • Up to 5 Years Prison
  • Driver License Revocation
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory immobilization of motor vehicle up to 180 days
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 6 points

Penalties For "Accident Causing Death" (Felony)

First Offense Only

  • $2,500 to $10,000 Fine and/or
  • Up to 15 years Prison
  • Up to 20 years if involves death of police officer, firefighter or emergency response personnel
  • Driver License Revocation
  • License Plate Confiscation
  • Mandatory motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible Vehicle Forfeiture
  • 6 points

Zero Tolerance Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content,

First Offense Only

  • $250.00 Fine and/or
  • 45 days of Community Service
  • 30 days Restricted License
  • 4 points

Second Offense

Please contact an attorney for details.

Penalties For Operating A Vehicle With A Passenger Under Age 16.

First Offense

  • Up to $500 Fine and/or
  • Up to 93 Days Jail and/or
  • Up to 60 Days Community Service
  • Drivers License Restrictions 3 months suspended and 3 months restricted
  • Possible motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible forfeiture of motor vehicle
  • 6 points

Second Offense

Please contact an attorney for details.

Operating With Any Drugs
(Only Involves Controlled Substances)

First Offense

  • Up to $500 Fine and/or
  • Up to 93 Days Jail and/or
  • Up to 360 hours of Community Service
  • Drivers License Restrictions 1 month suspended and 5 months restricted
  • Possible motor vehicle immobilization up to 180 days
  • Possible forfeiture of motor vehicle
  • 6 points

Second Offense

Please contact an attorney for details.

Reproduced under authority of P.A. 300 of 1949 as amended TS-027
(Rev. 11/00) 100,000, $3,103.57, $.0310357 - www.michigan.gov