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Michigan DUI Third Offense Charges

In Michigan, the drunk-driving law makes it unlawful for those over the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. For commercial drivers and minors, these limits are even lower. If you are found with a BAC over the legal limit, you will be charged with OWI.

Michigan also has an Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) law. You may be charged with this crime if your ability to drive was visibly impaired by the alcohol and/or drugs in your system.

If you have been charged with a third drunk-driving offense in Michigan, it is critical you speak with an experienced DUI/OWI defense attorney immediately. A third offense is classified as a felony, which is far more serious than a misdemeanor.

OWI Third Offense Penalties

If you have two prior drunk driving convictions on your record from at any time in your past, the third offense will be considered a felony. In Michigan, there is a lifetime look-back for felony drunk driving. The criminal penalties for a third conviction can include:

  • One to five years in prison
  • Fines ranging from $500 to $5,000
  • 60 to 80 days of community service

There is an absolute minimum period of 30 days in jail. The state can also take your car away from you as part of a forfeiture proceeding, and the judge may also require you to complete alcohol education classes.

Impact on Driving Privileges

You could also lose your driving privileges for an extended period of time, as your license may be revoked for at least one to five years. And, if your administrative license restoration hearing with the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) is unsuccessful, you might not be able to drive for the rest of your life.

In addition, your license plate will be confiscated and your vehicle can be immobilized for one to three years. You will be unable to register a motor vehicle and will be ordered to pay a $1,000 driver responsibility fee for two years.

Collateral Consequences of Third OWI Offense

In addition to the above penalties, you could face serious collateral consequences. As a convicted felon, you may be prohibited from holding a job in government or education, and your rights to own a gun and vote will be taken away from you. Some landlords are also less likely to rent to those with felony convictions on their records.