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DUI & DWI in Michigan

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, both this article and a Michigan DUI attorney can help you. But you need to take action – fast.

Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is a crime in Michigan. However, you may be guilty of drunk driving even if your BAC is lower than the normal .08. If you exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle, you can be arrested and convicted of DUI.

However, just because you’re arrested doesn’t mean you’re guilty. In this article, we’ll explain:

  • Michigan DUI Laws
  • Michigan DUI Punishments
  • Potential DUI Defenses
  • Michigan’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws
  • How to Find a Michigan DUI Attorney

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Michigan?

MIDUI laws are found in the Michigan Compiled Laws.

To summarize:

  • The BAC (blood alcohol content) for non-commercial drivers is .08. If you hit the .08 mark or higher, you’re legally drunk.
  • The BAC for commercial driver, such as taxi, truck, and school bus drivers, is just .04.
  • If you’re under age (i.e. under 21), it’s illegal for you to have any alcohol in your system, but Michigan drunk driving laws don’t apply until you have .02 or higher in your system.

What is Michigan’s Punishment for DUI Convictions?

The immediately below are standard in Michigan. However, these penalties are increased exponentially if you have a minor under the age of 16 in your car.

  • 1st DUI conviction = up to 93 days in jail – fine of $100 to $500 – driver’s license suspension of 180 days- up to 360 hours of community service

  • 2nd DUI conviction with 7 years = up to1 year in jail -30 to 90 days of community service – revocation of driver’s license with restatement delayed for 1 to 5 years.

  • 3rd DUI conviction within 10 years of 2 or more convictions = between 1 to 5 years in jail or probation, jail for 30 days to 1 year, and community service of 60 to 180 days – fine of up to $5,000 – revocation of driver’s license with restatement delayed for 1 to 5 years.

Michigan Drunk Driving Defenses

Just because you’re arrest for drunk driving doesn’t mean you’re legally guilty. Be sure to consult with the Michigan DUI lawyer of your choice – Your lawyer will investigate and analyze your case to put forth your best defenses.

For example, DUI defenses may be:

  • Improper vehicle stop. No probable cause.
  • A mistake of fact was made. You weren’t driving the car.
  • Sobriety testing was faulty.
  • The arrest itself was faulty.
  • Non-Mirandized statements were used against you.
  • Your BAC was rising and you weren’t legally drunk when arrested.

Michigan’s Other Drunk Driving and Alcohol Laws

Michigan’s Dram Shop Act
It is a crime for a licensed drinking establishment to serve a visibly intoxicated or underage person and can be held liable for injuries to third persons or the minor.

Michigan’s Providing Alcohol to Underage Persons Law
In Michigan, it’s illegal to give or sell alcohol to underage persons. You can go to jail for up to 60 days and pay a fine up to $1,000. Subsequent violations have stiffer penalties.

How to Find a Michigan DUI Attorney

If you’re facing DUI charges, jail, and fines, you’ll miss time at work and may even lose your job. It’s in your best interests to take action fast – get legal help. To find a Michigan DUI lawyer, you can search our website,, or ask friends or the bar association for a referral.

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