Michigan’s Underage OWI/DUI Laws and Penalties

The consequences of intoxicated driving for motorists who are under 21 years old.

Michigan has intoxicated driving laws that prohibit operating a vehicle while under the influence of (OWI) or visibly impaired by (OWVI) alcohol or drugs. These laws apply to everyone, regardless of age.

However, drivers who are under the age of 21 can also be convicted of an underage OWI for driving with:

  • a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% but less than .08%, or
  • any presence of alcohol in the body resulting from the consumption of alcohol (unless done for religious purposes).

This article outlines the penalties of an underage OWI in Michigan.


An underage OWI is a misdemeanor and usually entails a fine and community service. But a subsequent conviction within seven years will result in increased penalties.

1st Offense

2nd Offense


No jail

Up to 93 days


Up to $250

Up to $500

Community Service

360 hours

Up to 60 days

License Suspension

30-day suspension

90-day suspension

Restricted license. While an underage OWI will result in driver’s license suspension, a first-time offender is permitted to obtain a restricted license. However, a restricted license is not available on a second or subsequent offense.

Passenger under the age of 16. If an underage OWI offender was transporting a passenger under the age of 16, the possible penalties are increased. A first offense will result in 60 days of community service, up to a $500 fine and/or up to 93 days in jail. A subsequent offense carries a $200 to $1,000 fine and either five days to one year in jail or 30 to 90 days community service. The driver’s vehicle will also be immobilized if not forfeited.

Talk to an Attorney

If you were stopped for any of the Michigan intoxicated driving offenses, a DUI lawyer can help protect your rights. There’s no substitute for the advice of a knowledgeable attorney.

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