For questions, contact:
Edwin L. Hettinger
Kalamazoo: 324-2000 Battle Creek: 968-5000
Three Rivers: 273-7800 Sturgis: 659-6161
Coldwater: (517)278-6800 Dowagiac: 782-2500
Fax: 344-3601 Statewide: 800-294-50
A drunk driving offense is no longer a mild incident, one where the defendant is allowed to sleep it off with little or no real penalty. Drunk driving now carries penalties that include losing your automobile, your driver's license, or even a jail sentence. The penalties only increase as the number of offenses on record increases, so it is imperative that, be it the first or fourth offense, if you are charged with drunk driving, you contact help immediately.
Michigan law prohibits drunk driving primarily under MCLA 257.625 and MSA 9.2325.
MCLA 257.625, MSA 9.2325 makes it illegal to operate a vehicle "upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles," including parking areas, if the driver is either under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance, or both in combination OR has an alcohol content of .10 grams or more per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine. These are the OUIL and UBAL offenses. First and second time offenses are misdemeanors, while the third offense within 10 years is a felony, with more severe penalties. Your vehicle may be taken for the first offense, but it must be taken second and subsequent offenses.
OVI, or operating while visibly impaired is prohibited by MCLA 257.625(3), MSA 9.2325(3) on highways, parking areas, and places open to the general public. As before, the first and second offenses are misdemeanors, while the third is a felony. A third OVI conviction within 10 years is a felony. Also as before, your vehicle may be impounded on the first offense, but it must be impounded for the second and any subsequent offenses.
OUIL, UBAL, or OVI that result in death or a "serious impairment of a body function of another person." In a case such as this, the defendants car must be impounded, along with much more substantial fines and possible imprisonment than before.
If you are a person under 21, you are prohibited from operation a vehicle on highways, parking areas, and places open to the general public if you have any bodily alcohol content. This is defined as either an alcohol content of not less than .02 grams or more that .07 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine; or any presence of alcohol within the person's body resulting from the consumption of intoxicating liquor other than as part of generally recognized religious service.
Also, Michigan state law prohibits the owner of a vehicle from authorizing or knowingly permitting operation of a vehicle by another, if the other person's driving would violate the offenses of OUIL, UBAL, or OVI.
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