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Drunk Driving Charges and Potential Penalties in Michigan

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Drunk Driving Charges and Potential Penalties in Michigan

Drunk driving is a serious matter in Michigan. Police officers are diligent in apprehending suspected offenders and prosecutors work overtime in making drunk driving criminal charges stick. To protect yourself, get our Michigan criminal defense attorneys on your side. Find out more about different types of drunk driving-related charges and potential penalties.  

Michigan Drunk Driving Charges

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks. However, getting behind the wheel creates major problems. In addition to putting yourself and others on the road at risk, you could be pulled over and charged for drunk driving in Michigan, there are four different types of drunk driving charges you could face: 

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI), which involves showing signs of being under the influence, regardless of the amount of alcohol in your system.
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), which under the Michigan Vehicle Code, involves having a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 or greater.
  • Operating With a High Blood Alcohol Content, which involves having a BAC of .17 or greater;
  • Under Age 21 Operating With Any Bodily Alcohol Content, which involves a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07. The state takes a zero tolerance policy against underage drinkers, charging them with drunk driving regardless of whether they appear visibly impaired. 

What are the Penalties for Drunk Driving in Michigan?

The Michigan Secretary of State wants residents and visitors to our area to be aware that law enforcement, state and local officials, private agencies, and the criminal court system all work together in keeping drunk drivers off the road. If you are pulled over and charged with any type of drunk driving-related crime, it is important to get legal help right away to protect yourself against potentially severe penalties. These include: 

  • For a first offense OWVI or OWI: Fines up to $500, up to 93 days in jail, 360 hours of community service, six months suspended driver’s license, and six points on your permanent driving record. 
  • For a second offense: Fines up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, up to 90 days community service, one-year driver’s license suspension, and possible vehicle forfeiture;
  • For a third offense: Up to $5,000 in fines, up to five years in state prison, community service up to 180 days, and up to a five-year license suspension, along with additional fines for reinstatement. 

Be aware that these penalties increase if you were driving with a high BAC level or caused an accident while intoxicated that put others at risk. 

Reach Out to Our Michigan Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys

When facing drunk driving charges in Michigan, get Lucido & Manzella, P.C. on your side. We provide the trusted guidance and professional legal representation you need to avoid potentially severe penalties. Call or contact our Michigan drunk driving defense attorneys online and request a consultation today. 

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