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Michigan OWI DUI Penalties



The penalties for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, or OWI, in Michigan will vary depending on whether a driver has any past OWI offenses.

Like many states, Michigan separates the offense of driving while impaired from driving with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit, which is .08 percent. The offense of driving impaired with a BAC under .08 percent is known as operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) in Michigan and carries different penalties than those for an OWI.

(While drunk driving is not officially called DUI or DWI in Michigan, those terms are still commonly used.)

If you are charged with OWI or OWVI, you will want to hire an experienced Michigan OWI lawyer. An OWI attorney will be able to help you understand you rights under the law and devise a customized Michigan DUI defense for your case.

First Offense Penalties for Michigan OWVI

If you are caught driving while impaired by alcohol and you have no prior Michigan OWI or OWVI convictions, you may face some of the following penalties:

  • A fine up to $300
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Driver's license restriction for 90 days

Second Offense Penalties for Michigan OWVI

If you are caught driving while impaired for a second time within seven years of any other Michigan OWI or OWVI-related offense, you may face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $200 to $1,000
  • Five days to one year of imprisonment
  • 30 to 90 days of community service
  • Driver's license revocation for a minimum of one year

Third Offense Penalties for Michigan OWVI

If you have two prior drunk driving-related offenses in Michigan and you are convicted of another OWVI within your lifetime, you will be charged with a felony and may face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $500 to $5,000
  • One to five years in prison or probation with 30 days to one year in jail
  • 60 to 180 days of community service
  • Driver's license revocation for five years minimum

First Offense Penalties for Michigan OWI

If you have no prior Michigan OWI or OWVI offenses on your record and you are convicted of a OWI, you may face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $100 to $500
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Driver's license suspension for 30 days followed by restrictions that last for 150 days
  • Possible installation of an ignition interlock device

Second Offense Penalties for Michigan OWI

If you have either one OWI or OWVI offense on your record and you get arrested in Michigan for OWI within seven years of your prior conviction, you may face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $200 to $1,000
  • Five days to one year in jail
  • 30 to 90 days of community service
  • Driver's license revocation for a minimum of a year
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days

Third Offense Penalties for Michigan OWI

Under Michigan OWI law, if you have two prior drunk driving-related convictions and you are convicted of OWI again within your lifetime, you will be charged with a felony and may face the following penalties:

  • A fine of $500 to $5,000
  • One to five years in prison or probation 30 days to one year in jail
  • 60 to 180 days of community service
  • Driver's license revocation for a minimum of five years
  • Vehicle immobilization for one to three years

Other Michigan OWI-Related Offenses

Aside from the penalties described under Michigan OWI and OWVI law, you may suffer additional penalties if your Michigan OWI or OWVI results in serious injury or death.

If your OWI or OWVI results in serious injury of another person, you will be charged with a felony and will face up to five years in prison, a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, or both.

If your OWI or OWVI results in another person's death, you will be charged with a felony and will face up to 15 years in prison, fines of $2,500 to $10,000, or both.