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DUI & DWI Penalties in Michigan – SR22 Insurance in Michigan

DUI Penalties in Michigan

What You Can Be Charged With?

Michigan has a number of separate but related charges for drivers who are impaired due to something they have ingested. These charges are to ensure that dangerous drivers don’t slip through the system unpunished:

  • Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI): Your inability to operate a motor vehicle was visible to the arresting officer, most likely due to the presence of alcohol or other drugs in your body. You don’t need a BAC of 0.08 or above to be charged with OWVI.
  • Operating While Intoxicated (OWI): Alcohol or drugs in your body substantially affected your ability so you could not operate a motor vehicle safely. OWI can also mean that―when tested in the field, at the police station, or at a hospital―your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above 0.08%.
  • Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine: Even if you don’t appear intoxicated or impaired, if you have even a trace of these drugs in your blood (as determined by a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine), you can be charged.
  • Under Age 21 Operating with Any Bodily Alcohol Content: As a minor, you’ll be charged if you have a BAC of 0.02 to 0.07 or any presence of alcohol other than that consumed at a generally recognized religious ceremony.

Handcuff Picture

When You Go to Court

Generally, expect to go to court and have adjudication within 77 days.

If you’re convicted of OWI you could face:

  • A $100 to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license suspension for 30 days, followed by restrictions for 150 days.
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Six points added to driver record.

If you’re convicted of OWVI, you could face:

  • Up to a $300 fine and one or more of the following:
  • Up to 93 days in jail.
  • Up to 360 hours of community service.
  • Driver license restriction for 90 days (180 days if impaired by a controlled substance).
  • Possible vehicle immobilization.
  • Four points on driver record.

What happens if you get a second conviction for OWI within seven years? A judge could choose to give you:

  • A $200 to $1,000 fine.
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • Thirty to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscated.
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Six points on driver record.

A second OWVI conviction within seven years could mean:

  • A $200 to $1,000 fine.
  • Five days to one year in jail.
  • Thirty to 90 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of one year.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for 90 to 180 days unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Four points on driver record.

If you have been convicted of either OWI or OWVI twice in the past 10 years, and are then convicted for OWI, it’s considered a felony. You’ll face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • One to five years imprisonment.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • Sixty to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for one to three years unless vehicle is forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Six points on driver record.

If you have been convicted of either OWI or OWVI twice in the past 10 years, and are then convicted for OWVI, it, too, is considered a felony. You’ll face:

  • A $500 to $5,000 fine.
  • One to five years in prison.
  • Probation with 30 days to one year in jail.
  • Sixty to 180 days community service.
  • Driver license denial or revocation for a minimum of five years.
  • License plate confiscation.
  • Vehicle immobilization for one to three years unless forfeited.
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture.
  • Registration denial.
  • Four points on driver record.

It also is a felony to:

  • Cause a death while driving. You’ll face up to 15 years imprisonment OR a $2,500 to $10,000 fine, or both.
  • Cause a serious injury while driving. You’ll face up to five years imprisonment OR a $1,000 to $5,000 fine, or both.

What Can You Do?

Obviously, the best way to stay out of trouble―and minimize your risk of hurting people or property―is to avoid situations where you will have to drive after you’ve been drinking. Whether that means programming the phone number of a taxi company into your cell phone before you begin drinking or arranging for someone from home to pick you up at the end of the night, it’s got to be better than facing the penalties above.

Clearly, if it’s too late and you have been charged with OWI or OWVI (even if it’s for the first time), you stand a chance of being hit with some severe consequences if you are convicted. And these penalties could really cramp your lifestyle.

That’s why before you first appear in court in front of a judge, you should consult an attorney who specializes in DUI cases. Even a free initial consultation can help you get an idea of what you’re in for and how to best approach your case.

Michigan’s State Department provides very comprehensive additional information about drinking and driving laws in its informative write-up, Substance Abuse and Driving.

Michigan DUI: What if you Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

In Michigan, if you get pulled over for an OWI (operating while  intoxicated) and the officer asks you to take a blood, breath, or urine  test, do you have to take one? What happens if you refuse?

Implied Consent

Michigan law requires you to take a blood, breath, or urine test if you are  arrested for an OWI. Michigan’s “implied consent” law says that if you  are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe  that you have been driving under the influence, then you consent to  taking a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine for the purpose  of determining your blood alcohol content (BAC).  The test must be taken as soon as possible from the time when you were last driving. The officer gets to choose which test you take, but the law  gives a special exemption for diabetics, hemophiliacs, or people taking  anticoagulants – they don’t have to take the blood test.

Additionally, Michigan law says that you consent to taking a preliminary breath test, even if you have not been arrested. This works like a  field sobriety test. The officer will use the results to establish  probable cause that you were driving under the influence. You could  refuse to take this test, but you would have to pay a fine. In addition  to this fine, refusal of this preliminary test probably won’t work in  your favor if the officer has some other reason to think you had been  drinking. Based on that other reason, the officer could still arrest you and then you will be required to take a test under the law described in the paragraph above.

You can read about the preliminary breath test and Michigan’s implied consent law in the Michigan Compiled Laws 625(a) and 625(c).

Refusing to Take the Test

Once you are arrested, the officer should tell you that if you choose to  take a test, then you also have the right to have an additional test  taken by a person of your choice. The results of all the tests could be  used against you in court. The officer should also tell you that if you  refuse to take the test, then your license will be suspended. At that  point, if you decide to refuse then the officer must give you written  notice that you have 14 days to request a hearing to challenge the  suspension. Although the state cannot force you to take a test without a court order, the officer could go get one and then you would have to  take a test.

In Michigan, the penalties for refusing to take a blood, breath, or urine  test begin with a one-year suspension of your license. You will lose  your license for two years if this is your second or any subsequent  refusal within the last seven years.

The penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test are found in the Michigan Compiled Laws 257.625(f).

Should You Refuse to Take a Mandatory OWI Test in Michigan?

It usually does not help you to refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine  test when you are arrested for an OWI. In Michigan, you face community  service, fines, and potentially jail time if you are convicted of an  OWI. It’s possible that the consequences for a first OWI are less severe than those for refusal because you might avoid going to jail. There is  no guarantee this will happen, however. Also, your refusal might not be  enough to avoid a later OWI conviction. You could still be found guilty  of an OWI even if you refuse and the state does not have proof that your BAC was over.08%, the legal limit for those over 21. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal against you by arguing  that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated and guilty of OWI.

Get Help With Your OWI

If you have been arrested on an OWI charge in Michigan or any other state, get help from an experienced OWI attorney. Unlike other traffic related charges, which might be worth fighting without a lawyer, conviction for an OWI has serious consequences – especially if the incident involved  injury to people or property, or if it’s your second or subsequent OWI.  To avoid or reduce the consequences, your best bet is to find an  attorney who is knowledgeable about your state’s laws and about how the  system works in your county’s court.  Additionally, you are going to need SR22 Insurance.  Contact FR44 & SR22 Experts, LLC at 1-855-678-6977 to get the cheapest SR22 Insurance in Michigan or fill out our free quote form.

Michigan Non Owner SR22 Insurance

Michigan Non-Owner SR22 Insurance Explained

A Michigan Non-Owner SR22 policy allows the insured to drive any automobile they don’t own, but have permission to operate. A Michigan Non-Owner SR22 is considerably cheaper than it’s counterpart; an Owner Policy. A Non-Owner policy is the best way to have your driving privileges reinstated, become compliant with Michigan State requirements, and legally operate vehicles that are not owned by the insured.

A Michigan SR22 Auto Insurance policy is usually required for a period of 3 years from the date of conviction. The insurance coverage required on an Michigan Non-Owner SR22 is 20/40/10. This means:

  • $20,000 is the maximum amount paid per person for Bodily Injury (BI)
  • $40,000 is the total amount paid by the insurance company for injuries sustained by all persons in the event of an accident. This is generally done on a “first come, first serve” basis. Therefore, any claims made against the insurance company in excess of the policy maximums will be held against the insured themselves.
  • $10,000 is the total amount paid out on Property Damage (PD)

The “SR” in a Michigan SR22 stands for “Safety Responsibility”. It is not an insurance policy within itself, but a document verifying that coverage is in place. The Michigan Non-Owner SR22 is prepared by an insurance company and then filed electronically with the Michigan Department of Motor Vehicles. If a person doesn’t keep their Michigan Non-Owner SR22 for the required period of time, their license will be immediately suspended and their driving privileges will subsequently be revoked.

A Michigan SR22 requirement can be mandated for a variety of reasons. Some of those may include:

  • Refusal of breath or blood examination if stopped for a DUI
  • Excessive point violations on a driver’s Motor Vehicle Record
  • Accidents where an insurance policy wasn’t active
  • Domestic infractions such as failure to be current on Child Support payments

Points to mention about a Michigan Non-Owner SR22:

  • Only one driver can be listed on a Non-Owner insurance policy
  • No vehicles are covered on a Non-Owner policy
  • No Comprehensive or Collision coverage is offered on a Non-Owner policy
  • No Commercial or Rental vehicle coverage is offered on a Non-Owner policy