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Welcome to the best Michigan insurance resource! Michigan has the most unique insurance laws in the United States. Learn about what it takes to be insured properly as a Michigander. Get saving tips, mandatory coverage amounts, and answers to many frequently asked questions.

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Michigan Drinking and Driving Laws

To say that the laws regarding drinking and driving in Michigan are tough is an understatement. They are among the toughest in the nation. If you have plans to go out and have a good time and ingest alcohol, it is best to make plans to get home safely. To attempt driving home, or from place to place while intoxicated can jeopardize your freedom, income and driving privileges. This is not to mention that you are placing yourself and others at risk of a serious or deadly crash.

There are those that feel the government is too intrusive, but there are times that it needs to step in and make sure that we are making the best decisions for ourselves, as well as the public at large. It is a crime in the state of Michigan to be operating a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. Having a BAC of 0.17 or higher means getting even more enhanced, or harsher penalties. The fact is you can be arrested by exhibiting any level of impairment regardless of your actual BAC.

Being under the influence of a schedule 1 narcotic such as marijuana, heroin, GHB and others draw the same fines and penalties no matter whether you appear impaired or not.

First DUI Offense

Your best chance at getting life back to normal is if this is your first offense. If you follow all of the stipulations and pay all fines you will eventually get your license back. The penalties for under 0.17 BAC can be:

  • Up to $500 dollars in fines
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 community service hours
  • Up to 6 months driver’s license suspension
  • 6 points off your driver’s license

Over 0.17 BAC:

  • Up to $700 dollars in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 community service hours
  • Up to 1 year of driver’s license suspension
  • 6 point off the driver’s license

You will also be expected to complete an alcohol treatment program and use an interlock system for your ignition after 45 days of license suspension. This will allow you the use of a restricted driver’s license. You are responsible for the costs of this equipment.

Refusing to take the breath test doesn’t make things any easier for you. A first refusal earns you an automatic 1 year driver’s license suspension. A second refusal in 7 years earns you a 2 year driver’s license suspension. A drunken driving conviction can also cost you up to $2,000 dollars in additional penalties. You can incur $1,000 dollar costs each year for two years to be paid under the Driver Responsibility Act. It can be a very costly conviction.

The Better Choice

All of these laws and consequences are not designed to keep you from having fun, but to help you make better choices when it comes to drinking and driving. You simply shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you have ingested any amount of alcoholic beverages. Keep your partying at one location, or designate a non-drinker to be the one to transport everyone safely.

Call a taxi for a ride home or make plans to stay overnight at the location of the party. You should do the same if you are hosting a party. Do not let anyone leave with the intent of driving home if they have been drinking. You could very well be saving the lives of your friends and others. You most certainly are saving them a possible driving while intoxicated charge.

Laws and regulations change periodically. We do our best to provide the most up to date information.

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