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Michigan DUI Second Offense Charges

Just like a first offense, a second-offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) charge is classified as a misdemeanor. If convicted of a second offense within seven years of your prior DUI, the judge can sentence you to anywhere from five days to one year in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case. In addition, you may be ordered to pay large fines and court costs, perform 30 to 90 days of community service, and attend alcohol education classes.

Penalties For a Second Offense

If you are convicted of a second OWI, OWIL, or UBAL, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended at least one year. Your vehicle may also be impounded for 90 days or more, and you can be fined anywhere from $200 to $1,000. In addition, you may have to complete a court-approved alcohol educational program, perform up to 90 days of community service, and spend up to a year in jail.

Once your driving privileges are restored, the judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle—a machine that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) each time you attempt to start the engine. It is important to know that you will also be responsible for the initial installation cost, as well as any required maintenance expenses.

The consequences of a Michigan OWI second offense will continue long after you serve your sentence. Obtaining affordable insurance will be difficult, if not impossible, if you are found guilty of driving under the influence. Moreover, because it is a criminal offense, your OWI conviction will be a permanent addition to your criminal background, which can threaten future employment, as well as housing and educational opportunities. In some cases, you may not be allowed to move to another state if you are convicted of OWI.

Impact on Your License

Many people find that the hardest part of a second drunk driving offense is dealing with the license suspension. A second conviction can lead to a hard one-year revocation, which means you are ineligible for a limited permit and can absolutely not drive at all.

There is also a possibility that you won’t get your license back after the revocation period; however, you have a right to request a hearing in order to fight for the reinstatement of your driving privileges. If you lose, you must wait another year before requesting another hearing. In addition to license revocation by the Secretary of State, the judge will also order you to have your vehicle immobilized.

Ignition Interlock Device

As part of the terms of your license restoration for a second offense, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle once your revocation period is over. Similar to a breathalyzer test, the ignition interlock device measures the alcohol in your breath before your vehicle can start. If your blood alcohol content is over the preset limit, you cannot start your car and your violation will be reported to the probation office.

Underage Drivers

If you are an underage driver who is convicted of a second Zero Tolerance law offense, you could be sentenced to stiff fines, up to 60 days of community service and up to 90 days of incarceration.

Other Consequences

Potential collateral consequences of a second offense include increased insurance premiums or the cancellation of your policy altogether.  The same may happen to your health and life insurance policies, as you would fall into a high risk category. A second conviction can also trigger the Interstate Compact provisions, leaving you unable to move to a new state while on probation.

Hiring An Attorney

Fortunately, being charged with OWI does not automatically mean you will be convicted of the offense. An experienced defense attorney can work with you to fight the charges against you, so you can avoid the serious consequences of an OWI conviction.

An exclusive OWI defense attorney, Patrick T. Barone has over a decade of experience representing Michigan residents who have been accused of OWI. Due to his expertise in OWI, Mr. Barone teaches defense strategies at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and has written numerous articles and books about the state’s drunk driving laws. Contact the Barone Defense Firm to learn how you can avoid the devastating consequences of an OWI conviction. Mr. Barone will carefully investigate your case to determine the best defense strategies for you. Call today for a free consultation.