Second Offense OWI/DUI in Michigan

A driver in Michigan may be subject to varying penalties for a second OWI/DUI offense within seven years. If the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above, the penalties will be less than if the BAC is .17% or higher. Michigan refers to DUIs as OWIs (Operating While Intoxicated) or if the driving is impaired and the BAC is below .08% the driver may be charged with an OWVI (Operating While visibly Impaired). Penalties increase if a minor is present in the vehicle or if there is bodily injury.

Administrative Penalties

If you are convicted of a second DUI in Michigan, you may lose your driver's license. In Michigan, if you are convicted of two drunken driving convictions within 7 years, the Michigan Secretary of State will suspend your driver's license for one year.

For a second refusal to take a chemical test within seven years, the suspension is two years. In addition, restricted licenses based upon personal hardship are no longer recognized by the court. Instead, to reinstate a driver's license, you must apply for a license reinstatement through Michigan’s Driver's License Appeal Division, or DLAD, after the suspension period has ended.  

Criminal Penalties

The look back period for a DUI in Michigan is seven years from the date of the first DUI conviction. Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI within seven years of your first DUI conviction, your criminal penalties will be enhanced. First, if you're convicted of a second DUI in Michigan, you'll have to pay a fine ranging from $200 to $1,000. Second, the judge will sentence you to serve five days to one year in jail, complete 30 to 90 days of community service, or both.  

Also, mandatory attendance at a DUI School might be required as part of your sentencing.  An ignition interlock device may required as a condition of probation.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor in Michigan

A second DUI conviction in Michigan is a misdemeanor offense. A second DUI becomes a felony offense if the DUI involves an accident that causes death or serious bodily injury.

Plea Options

If you are charged with your second DUI in Michigan, you can plead guilty, not guilty, or try to negotiate a plea deal. Depending on the situation surrounding your arrest, it may be beneficial to plead guilty. However, if you have a viable defense, like a constitutional violation, then you should speak with your attorney about pleading not guilty. A plea deal for a reduced charge may be an option if you agree to serve community service and seek treatment for substance abuse.  

Getting Legal Help

A DUI attorney can explain the legal consequences to you and help you decide how to proceed.

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