The state of Michigan takes drunk driving very seriously. In fact, in 2007 the Governor removed the 10 year look back period for all drunk driving offenses in the state. The prior laws allowed for a third DUI conviction to be considered a felony only if it occurred within 10 years of the previous DUI arrest, but now if a driver is arrested for a third DUI and they have 2 previous drunk driving convictions they will be charged with a felony offense.
Administrative penalties for drunk driving in Michigan
It is illegal in the state of Michigan to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
Under Michigan’s implied consent laws drivers have given their implied consent to give a sample of their blood breath or urine if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. Police officers must notify drivers of the penalties for a blood alcohol content test refusal. Drivers who refuse the test may have their license suspended for six months to one year and the refusal can be used in court. If you have hired a DUI lawyer the blood alcohol content test should be provided to your DUI lawyer if requested.
Chemical testing must be done by a licensed physician, nurse or other qualified person. Drivers also have the legal right to request an independent test of their blood, breath or urine but the driver must pay for the independent testing.
The administrative penalties described above are administrative penalties only and are not related in any way to criminal penalties and fines a driver must pay if they are ultimately convicted of drunk driving.
Criminal Penalties for third drunk driving conviction in Michigan
Drivers arrested for a third OWI in Michigan are facing a felony charge. If convicted the driver can face the following penalties:
- One to five years in jail
- Possible probation in lieu of some jail time but drivers generally may spend 30 days to one year in jail
- Minimum five year license suspension
- Mandatory fines up to $5,000
- Mandatory purchase of SR222 insurance
- OWI fee- drivers must pay $1,000 per year for 2 years
- Confiscation of a driver’s license plates
- Attendance in drunk driving education classes
- Potential attendance in a Victim Impact Panel
- Possible community service
- Immobilization of a vehicle
- Registration denial of all vehicles which the driver is leasing or owns
As mentioned above, the fines and penalties for a third drunk driving arrest in Michigan are very severe. Additionally, all subsequent OWI charges after a third OWI conviction will also be considered felonies and the penalties and fines will be similar to those for a third DUI conviction they will just be a bit more severe.
Hiring a OWI Michigan Lawyer
If you have any prior OWI arrests and convictions it is time to talk to a OWI lawyer. Do not try to fight this charge alone. You are facing jail time and an extended license suspension. Fill out the FREE evaluation form for a FREE consultation.
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