A driver arrested for DUI in Michigan faces a number of different penalties that can affect his or her driver’s license and privileges to drive a vehicle in the state. Michigan has stringent driving penalties for drunk drivers. You could lose your driver’s license even before you are convicted of DUI if you refused a chemical test after your arrest. It’s important to hire a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney promptly to protect your driving privileges if you have been arrested for drunk driving or operating while intoxicated.
The Facts About DUI Driving Penalties
You need a car to get to work, school, church, to attend to family needs and to run errands. You don’t want to lose your driver’s license. But understand that after a DUI arrest in Michigan, your driving privileges are in jeopardy.
If you are arrested for DUI and refuse a chemical blood alcohol test, your driver’s license will be administratively suspended for one year or longer. To appeal this action, you have to act quickly. You have 14 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. An experienced Michigan DUI defense lawyer will know how to appeal the suspension and advocate for restricted driving privileges for you in an administrative hearing before DAAD.
If you fail to request the administrative hearing, or the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division upholds the suspension, you will lose your driving privileges for one year for a first refusal of the chemical test or two years for a second refusal within seven years. You want a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer standing up for you, advocating that the DAAD give you limited driving privileges so you can drive to work and attend to family needs.
A first-time offender convicted of OWI / DUI in Michigan may have six points added to their driving record and have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months with the possibility of a restricted license after 30 days.
Repeat Offenders, Super Drunks and DUI Driving Penalties
Repeat offenders need to be aware that drivers convicted of a second offense of OWI / DUI / DWI within seven years may maintain a restricted driver’s license if they are taking part in a Sobriety Court program. You may qualify for a restricted driver’s license to operate a vehicle equipped with an alcohol breath ignition interlock device and travel to work, school or a court-ordered treatment program. If you cannot get into an official Sobriety Court program your license will be revoked for a minimum of one year.
Conviction of drunk driving under Michigan’s recently enacted Super Drunk law includes harsh DUI driving penalties. Upon conviction, you will have your driving privileges suspended for one year with a hard suspension for 45 days, during which time driving is not allowed. After 45 days, you may be entitled to restricted driving privileges if you pay to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle for the period and pay monthly maintenance fees for the device.
A driver must blow into the device upon entering the car; the vehicle will not start if the device detects alcohol. Operating or attempting to operate a vehicle equipped with an interlock device after consuming alcohol will result in a doubling of the DUI driving penalties, meaning an additional 45 days of no driving followed by 320 days of restricted driving.