What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence for Minors?
In Michigan, underage drivers are held to a tough zero-tolerance law. This means that if they are found with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .02% or higher, then they can be arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) Zero Tolerance Offense. For adult drivers, the BAC limit is .08%. If your child was pulled over with a BAC level of .08% or higher, then they could be charged as an adult and face standard OWI penalties. If your child already has a Zero Tolerance offense as well as two standard OWI convictions then they could be facing felony charges.
Penalties for Underage Drinking and Driving in Michigan
Fortunately, there is no jail sentence associated with the first Zero-Tolerance offense. However, if your child has a BAC of .08% and is tried as an adult, then they could face a possible jail sentence. The penalties for drunk driving in Michigan are as follows:
- First drunk driving offense - If their BAC level was between .02%-.07% then they could be subject to 15 days of community service along with a fine of $250. If their BAC level is .08% or above, then they could face up to 93 days in jail, license suspension up to six months, and fines anywhere between $100 and $500.
- Second drunk driving offense (Within 7 Years) - If their BAC level is between .02%-.08% then they could be forced to serve 60 days of community service and asked to pay a fine up to $500. If their BAC level is above .08% then it can be viewed as a standard OWI charge which is punishable for up to a year in jail, a one-year license suspension, a mandatory alcohol treatment program, and a fine up to $1,000.
It is important to remember that receiving a criminal conviction before ever reaching adulthood can have a traumatic effect on your child's future. An OWI conviction could make it very difficult for them when it comes time for college admissions or impressing future employers. If your child has a criminal record, it could follow them for the rest of their life and haunt them every time someone runs a background check on their name. Be sure to prevent a criminal conviction with the help of a Macomb County OWI/DUI lawyer from my firm.
Protecting the Rights of Minors in Macomb County & Oakland County
Here at Bowden Law, PLLC, I have extensive OWI/DUI defense experience. If your child or another loved one has been accused of drinking and driving, you must act fast in order to evade severe penalties. My firm can offer you the high-caliber defense that you need during this difficult time. I can fight to obtain alternative sentencing or to have the charges dismissed entirely. Contact a Macomb County OWI/DUI lawyer from my firm today to schedule a free initial consultation!