Welcome to Legal Help
Home Michigan DUI Laws Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Michigan

Free Help – Ask Your DUI Questions

legal dui questions

Choose a State

Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in Michigan

Summary of DUI Laws in Michigan:

When stopped by a police officer, refusing to take a Preliminary Breath Test represents a civil infraction. Following an arrest for drunk or drugged driving, refusing to take the evidentiary test (which determines a person’s blood alcohol content or the presence of drugs in the body) will lead to a hearing, which can result in a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor offense is considered a criminal offense that is punishable with incarceration for a year or less, which is not served in the state prison.

A conviction of operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating with any presence of a schedule 1 drug or cocaine (OWPD), or operating while visibly impaired represents a misdemeanor offense. A third offense of any combination of an OWI, OWPD, or operating while visibly impaired represents a felony offense. Furthermore, a conviction for drunk driving that causes either death or serious injury to another person is a felony offense. A felony offense is considered a criminal offense that is punishable with incarceration for more than a year, which is served in the state prison.

What are the elements of a DUI offense in Michigan?

The Blood Alcohol Content test administered by police officers represents the amount of alcohol presents in a person’s blood. The amount is calculated as a percentage. For example, a BAC of 0.10 represents a level of 0.10% or one-tenth of a percent of alcohol in a person’s blood. In Michigan, the legal limit for a person under the age of 21 is 0.02. For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is 0.04. The legal limit for adults is 0.08 and a heightened BAC level of at least 0.17 carries more severe penalties.

Can a DUI be expunged in Michigan?

A DUI conviction in the state of Michigan cannot be expunged from the defendant’s record, and the conviction thus remains on the record permanently. This can affect a number of possible future issues going forward, such as child custody, concealed weapons permits, disability insurance claims, employment, and travel. Since Michigan does not allow a DUI conviction to be expunged, it is important for defendants to know of the consequences before pleading guilty.

Prescription Drugs and DUI in Michigan

Driving under the influence of drugs is a DUI offense in Michigan, and the law does not differentiate between prescription drugs and illegal drugs. Thus, challenging a DUI complaint with evidence of lawful use of the drug based on a prescription will not be successful. Since the offense of operating while in the presence of a schedule 1 drug or narcotic does not include prescription drugs, mere possession of prescription drugs while driving does not constitute a DUI offense. Rather, the State must prove that the individual’s driving was impaired because of the use of the prescription drugs.

Can I be stopped and arrested for DWI even if the vehicle was not moving?

Yes, a person can be stopped and arrest for a DUI even if the vehicle is not moving in the state of Michigan. A person is considered to have violated Michigan’s DUI laws once they are in control of a vehicle that is on a public thoroughfare of Michigan and under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Such a liberal scope of what is considered a DUI is meant to deter drinking and driving.

Do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I give a sample?

A defendant usually does not have the right to talk to an attorney before giving a sample. Although a defendant enjoys the right to remain silent and the right to counsel once they are subject to custodial interrogation by the police, the defendant is deemed to have given consent to the sampling under Michigan’s implied consent law. Also, a defendant could be required to give a sample before custodial interrogation even occurs.

Do I have to give a blood or urine sample?

A defendant is required to give a blood or urine sample since they are deemed to have given such consent to the testing under the implied consent law. Conducting either test is under the discretion of the police and the consent applies to either test. This applies even if the defendant was involved in an accident and was not capable of giving actual consent. Refusal to provide a blood or urine sample can constitute an independent offense with its own penalties, and can also extend a suspension period that is determined at an administrative review DMV hearing.

Do I have to submit to a field sobriety test?

No, a suspect is not required to submit to a field sobriety test. The field sobriety tests are conducted as part of the pre-arrest screening, and so they are not compelled.


If you have any questions about speeding tickets, please ask them at our legal help forum. free legal questions

Ask Questions, Get Answers

free legal help forum

Contact a DUI Lawyer Today!