DUI (Driving Under the Influence)

Driving Under the Influence is a crime that many law-abiding good people face.  It is a crime with penalties that are far-reaching.  And it is a mistake that many people make.  Instead of beating yourself up about getting charged, it is important to take the right steps from beginning.  There are entire books written on the defense of this one crime.  It is complex, but here is some basic information on it.

The primary offense of OWI is committed under the following circumstances:

  1. operating a motor vehicle,
  2. on a highway or other place open to the general public, or generally accessible to motor vehicles,
  3. in the county of the defendant is charged in while under the influence of alcohol and/or with an unlawful bodily alcohol level of .08 grams or more.

Keep in mind, the law on this crime and the variations of it is 19 pages long.  There is a super-drunk law where the defendant is charged with having a bodily alcohol level .17 or higher.  For people under 21 the law is zero tolerance.

Penalties:  Penalties can range all the way from a prison sentence for a habitual offender to fines, costs, probation, and driving sanctions, if a defendant is convicted.

In Michigan, points can cost you your driver’s license and can cost you a tremendous amount of money.



If you are convicted of a DUI, you will likely have to complete probation or face serving Jail Time.


These are some of the offenses that carry point sanctions with them.  Chief among them is, of course, Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs and “unlawful bodily alcohol content of .08 or more.”

If a driver is convicted of certain offenses, then driver responsibility fees will be assessed.  These vary depending on the crime or civil infraction.  Click HERE to see the various offenses that carry a primary Driver’s Responsibility Fee.

Once a driver is over 7 points in the state of Michigan, a second class of fines called “Driver Responsibility Fees” will become due by the driver to the State of Michigan.  If these fines are not paid, the State of Michigan will remove your driving privileges.  Points stay on your record for 2 years.

A driver may enter into an agreement with the Secretary of State for Installment payments of these fees.

Six Points:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
  • Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
  • Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.
  • Refusal to take a chemical test.
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag racing.
  • Operating while visibly impaired.
  • Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content.
  • 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles.

Three Points:

  • Careless driving.
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
  • 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or for disobeying a school crossing guard.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.
  • Open alcohol container in vehicle.
  • All other moving violations of traffic laws.
  • Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.

***This web site is for informational purposes only and is intended to give you, the viewer, information about the type of services provided by the Doak Law Firm. This is not intended as nor should this web site be used as legal advice. Your case should be specifically reviewed by an attorney. Contacting the Doak Law Firm via this web site, via e-mail, or via phone does not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney client relationship can only be created by express written agreement with the Doak Law Firm.***