An Overview of DUI Laws in Michigan

No one ever wants to get pulled over by the Michigan police. When you’re charged with driving under the influence, you may be in shock and unsure how to handle it. Knowing Michigan’s DUI laws when you’re arrested is key if you want to avoid significant penalties. You should also remember that a Michigan DUI arrest isn’t the same as a conviction. You’ll have time to hire a DUI defense lawyer and fight your case.

Penalties for Michigan DUIs

You can receive a DUI in Michigan when your blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. If you have no prior DUI charges in the last seven years, you’ll receive a first-time DUI offense. A first-time DUI offense in Michigan can result in up to 93 days in jail. A first-time DUI offense can also come with up to $500 in fines and up to 360 hours of community service. Some first-time offenders will have their vehicles immobilized for up to 180 days.

First-time DUI charges can become more severe if the circumstances warrant it. For example, if you have a passenger under the age of sixteen in your vehicle when you get pulled over for driving under the influence, your fine may be raised to $1,000. You may also have to serve up to one year in jail and perform between 30 and 90 days of community service.  

How DUI Testing Works in Michigan

Similar to other states, the Michigan police will use various testing methods when assessing whether you were driving under the influence. When pulling you over, the police may ask you to take a preliminary breath test (PBT). A PBT is less accurate than a breath test used at the station. If you refuse to take this test, you can receive a civil infraction and a $100 fine.

The police can still arrest you for a DUI if you refuse the PBT. They may then ask you to take the DataMaster breath test at the police station. Michigan’s Implied Consent Law states that all drivers consent to the DataMaster breath test. If you refuse this test, six points will be automatically added to your driving record and you’ll lose your driver’s license for one year. 

Refusing this test can result in the police issuing a warrant for a blood test. You aren’t allowed to refuse a blood test. 


Protecting Your Rights

Knowing Michigan’s DUI laws can help you protect your rights when arrested. Refusing to take the breath tests may or may not be beneficial depending on your situation. You should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine how best to move forward.