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OWI Repeat Offense

A conviction for a drunk driving offense in Michigan can have serious implications. A conviction for a second or subsequent offense can have life-altering consequences. Not only does a repeat offender face jail time, increased fines and other penalties, but a repeat offender could have problems outside the courtroom as well. Employment, insurance rates and visitation with minor children can all be negatively impacted by a second or subsequent conviction for an alcohol-related driving offense.

Michigan repeat offender defense attorney Paul J. Tafelski understands both the legal and personal consequences of being convicted as a repeat drunk driver in Michigan. He has extensive experience defending OWI repeat offenders in Detroit, Troy, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak, Plymouth, Canton, Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, and throughout Michigan.

Michigan Drunk Driving Penalties for a Repeat Offender

Determining whether you qualify as a repeat offender can be complicated, because not all previous convictions for alcohol-related driving offenses count toward being charged as a repeat offender. In general, however, the penalties that apply to second and third convictions include:

  • Second conviction — A second conviction for purposes of the statute is a conviction that occurs within seven years after the first conviction. A second conviction for any of the alcohol-related driving offenses is still a misdemeanor punishable by payment of a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 and Imprisonment for not less than 5 days or more than 1 year or community service for not less than 30 days or more than 90 days. In addition, probation of up to two years may be imposed, as well as vehicle immobilization for anywhere from 90 to 180 days if the vehicle is not forfeited.
  • Third conviction — A third conviction is a conviction that occurs after two or more prior drunk driving convictions. A third OWI conviction is a felony under Michigan law and is punishable by payment of a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $5,000 and imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than five years or probation with imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 30 days or more than 1 year and community service for not less than 60 days or more than 180 days. In addition, probation of up to five years may be imposed as well as vehicle immobilization from one to three years if the vehicle is not forfeited.
  • Repeat offender zero tolerance — A second conviction of the zero tolerance statute carries with it up to 93 days in jail, community service of up to 60 days and probation for up to two years.
  • Repeat CDL offender — A conviction for a second or subsequent alcohol-related driving offense will result in the suspension of a commercial driver’s license for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Additional penalties — If you are arrested as a repeat offender, your metal license plate will be confiscated even if it is not your vehicle you were driving and a new one cannot be issued until the case is resolved. However, a paper license plate will be issued while the case is pending. A registration denial will also be imposed, making it illegal to purchase, lease or otherwise obtain a vehicle. 

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