Michigan DUI Laws & Penalties – Grand Rapids MI

In Michigan, drunk driving is divided into two different offenses. When you’re arrested for drunk driving you can only be convicted of one of the offenses. The two offenses are (1) operating while intoxicated (DUI), and operating while visibly impaired (OVI). OVI is a lesser offense of the two (less serious).

In order to be convicted of operating while intoxicated, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (1) was operating a motor vehicle, (2) that he or she did so with a blood -alcohol above .08.

In addition to being charged with DUI, a defendant is usually charge with operating while intoxicated. The blood-alcohol level of a defendant is usually established by the use of a Breathalyzer or Data master. Operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired is considered a lesser offense than DUI. To be convicted of OVI, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was (1) operating a vehicle, and as (2) a result of consuming alcohol, the defendant’s ability to operate the vehicle was visibly weakened or reduced (impaired). Also that the Defendant had a blood-alcohol level between .05 and.08.

In addition to the above offenses, Michigan has enacted a zero tolerance law for persons under the age of 21 or operating motor vehicle with any blood alcohol content.

Most attorneys will recommend that a driver submit to a Breathalyzer or Data master test if they are stopped for drinking driving and have no previous arrests. In Michigan, the failure to take the Breathalyzer or Data master test will result in an automatic license suspension of six months with no restricted license to go to and from employment.

If a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty to DUI the maximum sentence includes up to a 500 dollar fine plus costs, up to 93 days in jail, and up to 45 days of community service. It a person is convicted or pleads guilty to OVI, the maximum sentence includes up to 300 dollars in fines plus costs, up to 90 days in jail, and up to 45 days of community service.

If defendant has previous convictions, punishment for second offense OWI or OVI increased to a maximum of 1000 dollars in fines plus costs and may be imprisoned for up to one-year in jail. If a defendant has been convicted a third time for drunk driving, the conviction results in a felony and is punishable by one to five years imprisonment and a fine of up 5000 dollars.

In addition to the above the sanctions, a defendant’s license can be suspended or revoked. If a defendant is convicted of DUI or OVI, then a license may be suspended for not less than six months and no more than two years with no restricted license available for the first 30 days. If a defendant has prior convictions, his license may be revoke. If a defendant is convicted of operating while visibly impaired his license may be suspended for not less than 90 days or more than one year and a restricted license is available immediately.

In addition to monetary sanctions, jail, community service, and suspending or revoking or license, the sentencing judge may also forfeit the vehicle you’re operating and sell it. Recently, the State of Michigan has enacted a driver’s responsibility fee. This amounts to additional fines (or a tax) of 2,000 dollars for OWI and 1,000 dollars for OVI (paid in two yearly installments).


Krupp Law Offices P.C. is located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan and has the right drunk driving defense attorney for you. We represent clients in all DUI matters throughout West Michigan, including the cities of Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Ionia, Grand Haven, Stanton, Greenville, Wayland, Allegan, Holland, Baldwin, Newaygo, White Cloud, Fremont, Coopersville, Hastings, Middleville, Wyoming, and Rockford, including Kent County, Ottawa County, Newaygo County, Ionia County, Mecosta County, Barry County, Montcalm County, and Allegan County, Michigan.

Typical fees to retain attorney for a drunk driving case can range and from 1,000.00 dollars to as high as 5000.00 dollars. Considering the potential penalties for a drunk driving conviction, it is extremely important to retain the services of an experienced attorney in the area of drunk driving. Both George Krupp and Christian G Krupp II are former assistant prosecutors and are extremely experienced in criminal law and drunk driving cases. If you have any additional questions, please call or send an e-mail. When facing a drunk driving charge, it is important to get a good lawyer.

Call for a free phone consultation. Our office can help.

161 Ottawa NW Suite 404
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616-459-6636 or [email protected]

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