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Serious Impairment of Bodily Function in Michigan

In 2010, the state of Michigan enacted revisions to its drunk driving laws that included a new charge called Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function (MVCSIBF). This charge is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

A conviction is also punishable by a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, six points on your driving record, and a $1,000 driver responsibility fee, which you will have to pay for two years. It is, therefore, important for a person to contact a Michigan DUI attorney to help combat these penalties.

What Constitutes MVCSIBF?

In order to convict you of Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • you committed a moving violation
  • the victim sustained a serious impairment of a bodily function
  • the moving violation you committed was a cause of the victim’s injury

Serious Impairment of a Body Function Defined

Michigan state law defines “serious impairment of a body function” as follows:

  • loss of a limb or its use
  • loss of a hand, foot, finger, or their usage
  • loss of an ear or eye or their usage
  • serious visible disfigurement
  • measurable brain or mental impairment
  • fracture of the skull or another bone
  • subdural hemorrhage or hematoma
  • organ loss

Michigan case law has further broadened these statutory definitions and thereby increased the types of injuries that might qualify as creating a serious impairment. You can also be charged with MVCSIBF if the victim is in a comatose state for three or more days as a result of the accident.

MVCSIBF in Conjunction with OWI

On its own, a Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function is a misdemeanor charge. However, if the driver was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, the MVCSIBF charge may be elevated to a felony. The maximum penalty for conviction of felony MVCSIBF is five years in prison, a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, and all applicable driving sanctions. There are also enhanced penalties for a BAC over .17.