Report shows Michigan authorities cracking down on impaired drivers

Each year the Michigan State Police issues a report regarding the number of arrests, auto accidents and fatalities in the state attributable to alcohol and drug use. The Michigan Drunk Driving Audit released in July 2013 showed that the number of impaired driving arrests increased in the state in 2012. Michigan drivers should be aware that authorities are targeting impaired drivers and the penalties a person faces for a conviction for charges of operating while intoxicated or operating while visibly impaired.

Michigan impaired driving arrests up

The Drunk Driving Audit showed that police arrested 37,182 drivers for suspicion of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Statistics showed that almost three times as many men were arrested for impaired driving as women. Males accounted for 27,606 of the impaired driving arrests in 2012, while 9,576 women were arrested for impaired driving in 2012.

Authorities believe that the number of impaired driving arrests will continue to increase in coming years. The number of patrols on the roads is at a low point due to government cutbacks stemming from the flagging economy. However, as the economy continues to improve, police anticipate more funding for more officers on the roads looking for impaired drivers.

Michigan impaired driving penalties

Those who are convicted of impaired driving charges in Michigan face severe penalties. A first conviction for an Operating While Intoxicated or Operating Any Presence of a Schedule I Drug or Cocaine charge results in:

  • A fine of $100 to $500.
  • Possible jail time up to 93 days.
  • Possible community service up to 360 hours.
  • A 30 day driver's license suspension and a subsequent 150 days of license restriction.
  • Six points on a driver's driving record.
  • A driver responsibility fee of $1,000 for two years for OWI and $500 for two years for OWPD.
  • Potential vehicle immobilization.
  • Potential required use of ignition interlock.

A driver convicted of a first Operating While Visibly Impaired offense faces similar harsh penalties, including:

  • A fine of up to $300
  • Possible jail time up to 93 days.
  • Possible community service up to 360 hours.
  • A Restricted driver's license for 90 days, or for 180 days if impaired by a controlled substance.
  • Four points on a driver's driving record.
  • A driver responsibility fee of $500 for two years.
  • Potential vehicle immobilization.

Speak with an attorney

Michigan authorities take impaired driving offenses very seriously. The number of arrests for impaired driving will most likely increase in the future, and the penalties for conviction of an impaired driving offense are severe. If you are facing charges for impaired driving, speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney with a history of successfully handling drunk driving cases.


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