Per Michigan's DUI laws no person shall operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while their ability operate a motor vehicle has been impaired do to the consumption of alcohol, drugs or any intoxicant.
A person is in violation of Michigan's "per se" law if they are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence and they have a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater. Even though the legal limit is .08% it is not safe to assume that just because you had a couple of drinks that you are safe to drive.
If an officer stops you on suspicion of DUI or driving under the influence and you have a blood alcohol level of .05% you could still be arrested for DUI based on a number of factors including: the officer's observation of your driving behavior prior to stopping you, the officer's observations of your mannerisms during the stop or failing any part of the field sobriety tests (if you took them).
If you submitted to a chemical test and register a BAC of .08% or greater and are arrested for DUI in Michigan, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and issue you a 625g paper permit. This permit will function as your driver's license allowing you to drive until your case is resolved in court.
If you refuse the chemical test, the arresting officer must inform you of the consequences for refusal and then ask you again if you will submit to a chemical test. If you still refuse, your license will be confiscated and destroyed and the officer will issue you a temporary permit that states that you refused a chemical test. This temporary permit will allow you to drive for 14 days.
Within that 14 day window from the date of your arrest you must file a request for a hearing with the Driver License Appeal Division or DLAD if you wish to maintain your driving privilege. If you are a first time offender who refused a chemical test and you fail to request a hearing within 14 days from the date of your arrest, your license will be suspended for 1-year.
You may file for an appeal hearing yourself and represent yourself at the hearing, but it is strongly recommend that you hire a Michigan OWI lawyer who knows the DLAD process and has experience when it comes to representing clients at these hearings.
You can file for an appeal hearing in one of two ways, the first would be to mail the appeal form to the following address by certified mail:
Or you can fax the form to (517) 335-4706 or (517) 241-1376
Once you have filed your request for a hearing, DLAD will notify you by mail with your hearing date and time.
The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer of the DLAD and the purpose of the hearing will be to determine the following items:
These will be the only items discussed at this hearing. The hearing officer will review the evidence presented by the arresting officer and hear testimony from the officer regarding the arrest. The hearing officer will then review the evidence presented by you and your lawyer and hear testimony from you and/or your lawyer in your defense. If there were any witnesses at the scene that your lawyer wants to testify on your behalf, those people will be subpoenaed to appear at the hearing.
If you win your DLAD hearing, your license will be reinstated immediately and you will not have any points assessed to your driving record. If you do not win your hearing, your license will be suspended. In this scenario in order for you to have a chance at get a restricted license, your lawyer will need to file an appeal with the Circuit Court of Appeals.
If you go this route and the judge who hears your case does not reverse the arresting officer's suspension of your license, the judge may grant you a restricted license. The only way to obtain a restricted license in Michigan is through the Circuit Court of Appeals. If you are granted a restricted license you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Michigan SR22 insurance policy before you will be issued a restricted license.
A restricted license may only be used to drive to and from the following places:
If you are stopped by an officer for any reason and you are driving and not engaged in one of the above activities, you will forfeit your restricted license and not be allowed to drive until your suspension period is over.
A first offense is a misdemeanor offense and is considered a first offense charge as long as there has been no previous offense within the past 7-years. The penalties for a first offense DUI charge if convicted are as follows:
A DUI is considered a second offense if it occurs within 7-years of a previous conviction and is a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for a second offense DUI charge if convicted are as follows:
A DUI is considered a third offense if it occurs within a person's lifetime and is a felony offense. The penalties for a third offense DUI charge if convicted are as follows:
Anyone under the age of 21 in Michigan shall not operate a motor vehicle, whether they have a license or not, with a blood alcohol level of .02% or greater. A first time offender under the age of 21 will have their license restricted for 30 days, you will have to pay a $250 fine and/or provide up to 360 hours of community service. You will also have to pay an additional $500 driver responsibility fee for 2-years consecutively.
For a second offense under the age of 21 you may face up to 93 days in jail, your license will be suspended for 90 days (your license will be suspended for 1-year if you have a prior drunk driving conviction above the legal limit) following any jail time, you will have to pay up to $500 in fines and/or provide up to 60 days of community service. You will also have to pay an additional $500 driver responsibility fee for 2-years consecutively.
Both a first and second offense under the age of 21 are misdemeanor charges. You will also be required to provide proof of financial responsibility in the form of a Michigan SR22 insurance policy.
Before the Michigan Secretary of State will reinstate your license following your suspension or revocation period or before issuing you a restricted license, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.
At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your Michigan SR22 coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the Michigan Secretary of State of the lapse. If a lapse in coverage occurs, the Michigan Secretary of State will immediately suspend or revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the Secretary of State before they will issue you another license.
Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one. DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Michigan and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.
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Michigan First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.
Michigan SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about Michigan's SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Michigan Alcohol Highway Safety Classes - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI alcohol safety programs listed by County.
Michigan Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of Michigan bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.