Michigan DUI Consequences
Each year, thousands of drivers are injured and killed in auto accidents in the United States, and alcohol is a contributing factor in a large number of these collisions. As a result, lawmakers across the country continue to pass legislation to deter motorists from driving under the influence (DUI). From limiting the amount of alcohol motorists can have in their bloodstream to imposing harsh sentencing guidelines on those convicted of the offense, each state has a number of laws in place to reduce alcohol-related accidents. Like most states, Michigan’s DUI laws grant little leniency to drunk drivers by mandating the sentencing guidelines and other Michigan DUI consequences that follow a drunk driving conviction.
As specified by state law, the maximum sentence for a first DUI offense includes a $500 fine, 6-month license suspension, 360 hours of community service, and up to 93 days of jail time. However, if you have been convicted of a DUI within the past seven years, the penalties for a second offense increase significantly. In fact, repeat offenders face up to $1,000 in fines, a minimum one-year license suspension, 30 to 90 days of community service, and a five-day to one-year jail sentence.
While the penalties listed above may seem rather stringent, they are nothing compared to the sentence you will receive if you are convicted of a third DUI. As a felony offense, a third conviction carries a maximum $5,000 fine, 60 to 80 days of community service, and a minimum one-year jail sentence. Your driver’s license will also be revoked for no less than one year, and your vehicle will be confiscated for a period of 90 to 180 days.
What’s more, unlike the requirements for a second DUI conviction, there is no time limit for a third offense. In other words, the sentencing guidelines apply to any driver who has two prior drunk driving convictions on his or her record—regardless of how many years have passed since the person’s last arrest.
After you’ve completed the terms of your sentence, you may find it difficult to obtain auto insurance due to your drunk driving conviction. In fact, many companies refuse to insure drivers who have a history of DUI—and if you manage to find one that is willing to cover you, you can plan on paying two to three times more for coverage.
It is important to know that, even if you are a first-time offender, a DUI conviction can have a devastating impact on your personal life. As a criminal offense, your DUI will remain on your criminal record permanently—threatening numerous employment, housing, and educational opportunities in the future. Plus, if your charge was classified as a felony, you could also lose your right to vote, obtain a passport, or purchase firearms.
Despite all the consequences listed above, there are many ways to avoid a DUI conviction. With the right defense strategy, you may be able to prove the charges against you should be reduced or dismissed.