Michigan Drunk Driving Laws & Penalties
Who Can Be Arrested for Drunk Driving in Michigan?
- It is a crime for a driver over the age of 21 to have a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater.
- If the driver is under age 21 it is a crime for them to have a BAC of .02 or greater if under 21.
- In addition, Michigan has a “Super Drunk Driving Law” that that mandates enhanced penalties for anyone caught driving with a BAC of .17 or higher.
(Read More about Super Drunk Driving Here)
- Drivers can be arrested at any BAC level if they exhibit signs of impairment while operating a motor vehicle.
- Additionally, drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 narcotic–such as marijuana, GHB, or heroin- are subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment.
Michigan Drunk Driving Violations & Terminology
Many people – even some lawyers – use the term DUI, DUIL, OUI and OWI to mean the same thing. But there are some differences that an experienced drunk driving lawyer will understand.
Under Michigan law, all drunk driving and impaired driving violations are covered by the same set of laws. So, no matter what Michigan city or “district” you are in when you are arrested, the same charges, same points and same penalties apply. Here are the main drunk driving or impaired driving offenses in Michigan:
- Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) – BAC of .08 to 1.6 if over 21; BAC of .02 to .16 if under 21
- High Blood Alcohol Content (“Super Drunk”)- BAC of .17 or higher
- Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine (OWPD)
- Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) –Any BAC, but visibly driving erratically
- Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle – Can be given even if NO BAC; and/or in addition to other charges
In addition to these common drunk driving charges, a drunk driver can also be charged with “Causing Death or Serious Injury if Operating While Intoxicated, Operating While Visibly Impaired, Operating with Any Presence of Drugs, or Operating While License Suspended, Revoked or Denied”. This is a felony that is a separate charge, in addition to the drunk driving charge(s). This charge may be imposed if someone is killed or seriously hurt as a result of the drunk driving offense.
There are also several more alcohol related offenses that apply to people under 21:
- Person Under 21 Purchase/Consume/Possess Alcohol or “Minor In Possession” (MIP)
- Person Under 21 Transporting or Possessing Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle
- Using Fraudulent ID to Purchase Alcohol
CLICK HERE To See All Fines & Penalties for Drunk Driving in Michigan Lawyer