Michigan DUI Laws (All You Need to Know)

Michigan DUI Laws (All You Need to Know)

All drivers know that drinking and driving are prohibited. 

All drivers also know that this act is very, very dangerous. 

But do you know the actual DUI laws in Michigan? What is considered DUI in the state?

If caught, what penalties will you face?

We’re going to answer these questions and more for you. 

Here, we’re going to tell you all you need to know about Michigan DUI laws. This way, you can follow it to the T. 

Plus, we’ll go over the penalties, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI in Michigan. 

So shall we begin?

DUI Laws in Michigan

Michigan DUI

Michigan considers a DUI a criminal offense. By DUI, this means that you:

  • Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more
  • Are under the influence of drugs (even over-the-counter or prescription drugs)
  • Have any amount of illegal drugs in your system

Illegal BAC Levels

Blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are used to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. It’s measured in percent — the higher the percentage, the more alcohol is present in your body. 

Now, BAC levels can be measured through a blood or breath test. So if you’ve ever heard about police officers asking people to take these tests, that’s usually to check for DUI. 

In Michigan, it’s only considered DUI if your BAC is at .08% or more. However, if a BAC of 0.17% or more is found in your system, the penalty is a lot harsher. 

Implied Consent Law

The Implied Consent Law states that…

“If you are holding a Michigan driver’s license, then it’s implied that you are consenting to take a blood or breath test if you are asked by a police officer to do so.” 

If you refuse to take a test, you may be charged with a civil infraction. To add to that, you are also saying no to possible proof that you are NOT intoxicated during the time you were suspected of DUI. 

Drugs and Driving

Just like alcohol, taking any amount of drugs can impair your ability to drive — yes, even if you’re only taking prescription drugs. 

So if you are suspected of impaired driving and are found to have drugs in your system, you will be charged with DUI. 

Moreover, the use of Marijuana, although legal in Michigan, can also have penalties when you are found to be:

  • Operating any motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana
  • Transporting more than 2.5 oz of marijuana for ages 21 or older
  • Consuming marijuana while operating a motor vehicle

NOTE: Passengers are not allowed to smoke marijuana when a vehicle is on a public roadway. 

Open Container Law

The Open Container Law prohibits anyone who is operating or riding a motor vehicle to have an open container of alcoholic beverages while the vehicle is on a public roadway. 

This law was placed to prevent drunk driving. 

DUI Penalties in Michigan

Since it is so dangerous, anyone charged with DUI will suffer harsh penalties. You should expect high fines, license suspensions, and even jail time. 

Here is a table of the penalties for a 0.08% BAC level or drugs while operating a vehicle in Michigan: 

Offense:Fine:Jail Time:Community Service:Additional Penalties:
1st$100-$50093 days45 daysUse of an ignition interlock device
2nd$200-$1,0005-360 days30-90 daysUse of an ignition interlock device and vehicle immobilization
3rd$500-$5,0001-5 years60-180 daysUse of an ignition interlock device, vehicle immobilization, and minimum 30 days probation

On top of that, license suspension is given to anyone who is caught driving under the influence. The suspension starts at 30 days, but the Secretary of State can increase this period. 

If you have caused severe injury or death with DUI, you can be imprisoned for at least 5 years (15 years if resulted in death), and receive fines that start at $1,000. 

Effects of Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs are known to affect your body in a bad way. This is why it’s discouraged to drive when you’ve taken any amount of alcohol or drugs. 

Here are some changes you experience when under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both: 

  • Rash or unreasonable decision-making
  • Reduced concentration
  • Difficulty reacting quickly
  • Slow movements
  • Impaired judgment
  • Aggression or speeding 

As you can see, all these are very dangerous when you are behind the wheel. 

Even if people claim that they are “more awake” after drinking, this doesn’t mean that they can make sound decisions when driving. Some drivers end up being more aggressive, increasing the risk of speeding or crashing. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about Michigan’s DUI laws? Check out these FAQs for additional information. 

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Michigan?

If it’s only your first offense, you can get a DUI expunged from your driving record. However, the waiting period for this is only after 5 years from conviction. 

For 2nd and subsequent convictions, these will stay on your record for life.

Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI in Michigan?

You don’t lose your license immediately. However, you get a license suspension depending on the number of offenses you’ve had. 

Can a DUI be expunged in Michigan?

If it is your first offense, you can expunge your DUI. But, you will have to wait at least 5 years before you can do so. 

How do I get my license back after a DUI in Michigan?

If your license was revoked because of a DUI conviction, then you can only get it back once you fulfill the terms stated during your court hearing. 

Can you get your license back after 3 DUIs in Michigan?

Yes. Remember, your license is only suspended and not revoked. 

That said, there are special circumstances that have made the court decide on revoking a license. If so, you can only get your license back if you fulfill the court’s terms stated during your hearing. 

Is a 3rd DUI a felony in Michigan?

Yes, a third DUI is already considered a felony. It is also subject to at least $500 in fines and 1-5 years of jail time. 


And that was all you needed to know about Michigan DUI laws. 

Drinking or drugged driving is a BIG NO. 

Even if you think you are below the BAC levels, you should avoid getting behind the wheel. This is because, even if you don’t get caught, you are still putting your life and the life of others at risk. 

At the end of the day, it is your choice to stay safe and to keep other people from harm when on the road. 

So if ever you’re drinking or have taken any form of drugs, don’t drive! 

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