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Michigan DUI First Offense

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers over 21 in Michigan is .08%. If you are found driving while having a BAC of this level or higher, you can be charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. The state’s Zero Tolerance law makes it a crime for underage drivers to operate a vehicle with a BAC above .02%. The state’s Super Drunk law makes it an even more serious crime to have a BAC at or above .17%.

BAC is typically determined through a breath, blood or urine chemical test. Please note that even if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you can still be charged with drunk driving and face penalties and a suspended drivers license.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charge

A first-offense OWI charge is classified as a misdemeanor. If found guilty, the judge could order you to:

  • Spend up to 93 days in jail
  • Pay up to $500 in fines
  • Perform 360 hours of community service
  • Complete a court-approved alcohol and drug education program

In addition, your license penalties may include a 30-day suspension and 150 days of restricted driving. If it is a Super Drunk first offense, you could face up to 180 days in jail and a one-year suspension of your drivers license. If you were involved in an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death, you could face felony charges.

Collateral Consequences

Even after you complete the terms of your sentence, you may face other collateral consequences such as ineligibility for certain jobs or educational loans, academic probation, increased auto insurance rates, and even the loss of your job.