First Offense DUI in Michigan

Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most stressful events a person can experience in their lives. First time DUI charges are less serious than those for repeat offenders, however it still can have a significant impact on your daily life, employment and cause undue financial hardship. Understanding what is involved in these charges and what your options are will put you in the best position for being able to live a normal life after a DUI.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

A device used to obtain someone's blood alcohol content for an OWI charge. The device has a small tube for someone to blow on and a monitor that gives a reading of their BAC.Like all states, Michigan has BAC limits for those operating motor vehicles. The general legal BAC limit is 0.08% – anything higher than this and you can be charged with a DUI. There are two other BAC limits in addition to this – one of these is for juveniles and minors while the other for those who are heavily intoxicated. Per the state’s Zero Tolerance law, minors are not allowed to have a BAC above 0.02%, unless it is from a religious ceremony in which case it is on the defendant to prove that the consumption of alcohol was from a recognized religious ceremony. For those with a BAC at or above 0.17%, the state’s Super Drunk law comes into play carrying more serious penalties than a regular DUI.

Penalties For DUI (First Offense)

DUI first offense charges carry the lightest penalties of all Michigan DUI charges. First offense DUI/OWI charges are usually misdemeanors, unless there is serious bodily injury, harm or death caused – in which case it would be upgraded to a felony. Below are the penalties a person charged with a DUI first offense misdemeanor can expect if convicted.

  • Jail time of up to 93 days
  • Fines of up to $500
  • 360 hours of community service
  • Required to complete a court approved alcohol and drug education program

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally speaking, penalties for first offenders are lighter than all other DUI offenses. One can expect fines and possibly jail time, as well as community service and being required to complete an alcohol/drug education program. Which penalties are applied will depend on the circumstances surrounding the DUI and the sentencing judge.

The penalties for DUI first offenses by minors are reduced but still significant. Minors convicted of this still face up to 360 hours of community service in addition to a fine of $250. DUI offenses committed as a minor can still be counted as previous offenses if the offender is charged again as an adult – with any future DUIs being charged as second or repeat offenses.

Regardless of whether it is a first offense or repeat offense, a DUI conviction will result in six points being added to the offender’s license.

For first offenders, 360 hours of community service can be required.