If you have ever been convicted on a drunk driving charge in Michigan, you may be aware of just how much such an event can affect your everyday life. You may lose your license and find you are no longer able to get to and from work without it, and you may find your family members or friends may be hesitant to help you. You may, too, have to shell out considerable money on hefty fines and legal representation after your incident, and your auto insurance is likely to skyrocket as a result.
How to know if you are a repeat offender
While the penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Michigan are harsh, they become even more so for each subsequent drunk driving offense. The state has a list of specific repeat offender laws, and they apply to you if you have two or more alcohol-related convictions within seven years or three or more within 10 years. They also apply to you if you get three or more convictions within a seven-year period for driving with a revoked or suspended license.
Repeat offender law specifics
If you are a repeat offender and get pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, expect the law enforcement official who performs the arrest to take and destroy your metal license plates. You may be given what is known as a registration denial, under which you will not be able to obtain new metal plates until your case has made its way through the court system. You will also not be able to buy or lease a vehicle or transfer a vehicle's registration during your registration denial period.
The ignition interlock and other penalties
As a DUI offender in Michigan, you may be required to take part in a substance abuse prevention or treatment program, and you may also have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle at your own expense. This is especially true if you are considered a habitual offender, meaning you had two or more convictions within a seven-year period or three convictions within a 10-year period. The Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device will measure your blood-alcohol content if you attempt to crank up your car. If it exceeds .025 percent, your car will not start.
The severity of the penalties you can expect to face tend to increase with each arrest. If you have been arrested for drunk driving before and are facing new charges, you may find it beneficial to contact an attorney.