A conviction of operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Michigan can cost you in more ways than one. If you are found guilty, you may end up having to pay fines and other expenses associated with your sentence.
Aside from paying out money in fines and court costs, you will almost certainly see an increase in your auto insurance rates, and you may end up paying maintenance fees associated with court-ordered devices such as an ignition interlock device or an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet.
The penalties for a Michigan OWI conviction include an automatic fine, the amount of which depends on the number of prior convictions on your record:
In addition to these fines, you will have to pay a Driver Responsibility Fee for two consecutive years following the conviction. For your first offense, the Driver Responsibility Fee is $500 per year; the fee increases to $1,000 per year upon your second OWI conviction.
It is also worth noting that these fines and fees increase if your BAC was .17% or higher at the time of the arrest.
If you caused an accident that resulted in bodily injury or death while driving under the influence, your fines will substantially increase. If convicted, your sentence may include fines ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 as well as up to 15 years in prison.
The financial ramifications of an OWI conviction extend beyond the fines, fees, and court costs you will be forced to pay. A conviction can also cost you in unexpected ways. For example:
You also should consider the money you could lose from missing work while serving a jail sentence or performing community service. Worse yet, if your job requires you to drive or maintain a security clearance, you could end up unemployed. An OWI conviction on your criminal record could also make it much harder to find new employment.