Michigan's DUI/OWI Laws and Conviction Penalties

Learn about the penalties for first, second, and third OWI/DUI in Michigan.

In Michigan, operating a vehicle while under the influence (OWI) (sometimes called "DUI") is a criminal offense. The penalties for OWI convictions depend mostly on how many prior convictions the person has.

This article covers Michigan's OWI laws and the penalties you'll face for a first, second, and third OWI conviction.

Michigan's OWI and OWVI Laws

Michigan has a number of laws prohibiting intoxicated driving. The two main categories are operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OWI) and operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) by drugs or alcohol. However, some people still use the term, "DUI."

An OWI—the more serious of the two offenses—involves operating a vehicle while:

In contrast, an OWVI conviction requires proof only that the driver shows visible signs of impairment due to ingesting alcohol or drugs.

Michigan OWI and OWVI Penalties

Michigan law specifies the penalty ranges for OWI and OWVI convictions. For most convictions, the driver will face license suspension, fines, and possible jail time.

How Long an OWI or OWVI Stays on Your Record in Michigan

Generally, OWIs and OWVIs stay on your record and count as prior convictions for seven years in Michigan.

1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense


Up to 93 days jail (up to 180 days if BAC was .17% or greater)

5 days to one year

One to five years (30 days to one year if community service ordered)


$100 to $500 ($200 to $700 if BAC was .17% or greater) and $100 to $300 for OWVI

$200 to $1,000

$500 to $5,000

Community Service

Up to 360 hours

30 to 90 days

60 to 180 days

Vehicle Immobilization for OWI and OWVI Convictions in Michigan

The judge is permitted in every OWI and OWVI case to immobilize or order the forfeiture of the driver's vehicle. Immobilization and forfeiture are optional for a first offense, but for any subsequent offense, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture is mandatory.

  • 1st offense. Possibly forfeiture or immobilization for up to 180 days.
  • 2nd offense. Immobilization for 90 to 180 days is mandatory (if not forfeited).
  • 3rd offense. Immobilization for one to three years is mandatory (if not forfeited).

Michigan's OWI Enhancements for Passengers Under 16 Years Old

The driver will face additional penalties if he or she had a passenger under 16 years of age at the time of the offense. For a first offense, the convicted motorist will pay a fine of $200 to $1,000 and either serve five days to one year in jail or complete 30 to 90 days of community service. A subsequent offense with a passenger under 16 carries a $500 to $5,000 fine and either one to five years of jail or probation (probation must include five days to one year in jail and 30 to 90 days of community service).

Driver's License Penalties for Michigan OWIs and OWVIs

Every intoxicated driving conviction will result in some form of driver's license sanctions.

Michigan OWI Suspensions

A first-offense OWI generally results in a 180-day license suspension. But if the driver's BAC was .17% or greater, the suspension is for one year. The driver is permitted to obtain a restricted license after 30 days. A restricted license limits when and where the person can drive and requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). The 30-day waiting period (also called a "hard suspension") is increased to 45 days if the driver had a .17% BAC or greater or 90 days if there was a passenger under 16 years old.

Michigan OWVI Suspensions

A first-offense OWVI conviction will result in a 90-day suspension. However, because a restricted license is immediately available, an OWVI conviction does not have to result in the complete loss of driving privileges. This suspension increases to 180 days if the OWVI involved a controlled substance.

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