Being charged with drunk driving in Michigan is bad news for anyone, but a DUI for drivers under the age of 21 is especially serious.
In Michigan, a “zero tolerance” policy is strictly enforced, which bars young drivers from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, regardless of whether they’re legally intoxicated or not. Underage drivers can face OWI/DUI charges if their blood-alcohol concentration surpasses 0.02, provided they’re under 21 at the time of the incident. More grave charges, like driving while intoxicated, can be imposed if their blood alcohol content crosses the 0.08 threshold.
In such challenging situations, a Michigan DUI lawyer can help. At Michigan Defense Law, our team of experienced Michigan DUI defense attorneys may be able to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, guide on the best possible defenses, and work tirelessly to safeguard your rights. Our team might even be able to get the charges reduced or dismissed, minimizing the impact on your future prospects. Call us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a consultation.
Either way, the penalties can be severe. A charge of underage OWI/DUI in Michigan can mean:
- A fine of up to $500 for a first offense;
- A sentence of up to 360 hours of community service work for a first offense;
- Suspension of driver’s license;
- Increase in automobile insurance rates;
- Harsher consequences if there is a passenger under the age of 16 at the time of the offense;
- Second or subsequent offenses will result in enhanced penalties including prison time.
Underage Drinking and Driving in Michigan
Here is an excerpt from the Michigan statute pertaining to underage drinking and driving:
A person who is less than 21 years of age, whether licensed or not, shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles, within this state if the person has any bodily alcohol content. As used in this subsection, “any bodily alcohol content” means either of the following:
(a) An alcohol content of 0.02 grams or more but less than 0.08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, or, beginning October 1, 2013, the person has an alcohol content of 0.02 grams or more but less than 0.10 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.
(b) Any presence of alcohol within a person’s body resulting from the consumption of alcoholic liquor, other than consumption of alcoholic liquor as a part of a generally recognized religious service or ceremony.
In 2011, there were 38 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in Michigan involving underage drivers.
How Long Will Your License Be Suspended for a DUI Under 21
Understanding the potential implications of being arrested for DUI under the age of 21 is vital, particularly regarding the suspension of your driver’s license. In such circumstances, it is essential to collaborate with a proficient criminal defense attorney to minimize the long-term impact.
For individuals facing their initial underage DUI offense, the penalties may include fines of up to $250, up to 360 hours of community service, driving license restrictions for a maximum of 30 days, and the addition of 4 points to your driving record. These penalties can significantly disrupt your life.
For repeat offenders or those with a previous DUI within the past seven years, the consequences become more severe. They may face fines of up to $500, up to 60 days of community service, a maximum of 93 days in jail, probation lasting up to 2 years, an additional 4 points on their driving record (6 if they are over 21 at the time of the second offense), and a 90-day license suspension or revocation, depending on their prior criminal history.
The consequences of an underage DUI conviction extend beyond the immediate aftermath and can have a profound impact on your future prospects. It can impede career opportunities and restrict educational options, as many institutions may be hesitant to admit students with criminal records, particularly for programs requiring licensing.
Given Michigan’s stringent DUI laws, seeking legal representation is crucial, regardless of whether this is your first or subsequent DUI charge. At, Michigan Defense Law, our team of skilled Michigan DUI defense lawyers may be able to guide you through the intricate legal process, helping you minimize the potential adverse consequences on your life. Remember that one mistake should not define your future, and with the right assistance, it doesn’t have to. Contact us today at (248) 451-2200 to schedule a consultation.
|DUI Offense Type||Penalties|
|Initial Underage DUI||Fines up to $250, up to 360 hours of community service, addition of 4 points to driving record, temporary license restrictions for up to 30 days.|
|Repeat Offense within 7 Years||Fines up to $500, up to 60 days of community service, up to 93 days in jail, probation up to 2 years, addition of 4 points to driving record (6 points if over 21), potential 90-day license suspension or revocation based on prior criminal history.|
- Century Council