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Alcohol and Under 21: Zero Tolerance
If an individual is convicted of driving a motor vehicle with any alcohol in their body up to .07 % the consequences are severe. At .08% blood alcohol content a person under 21 can be charged with Operation While Intoxicated (OWI). For more information on .08% or higher, see my other articles on OWI.
For a first time offender a driver can be subjected to :
1. Misdemeanor criminal conviction
2. 30 day suspension of their driver’s license
3. $125.00 license reinstatement fee
4. 4 points on their driving record
5. Fines up to $250
6. Community service up to 360 hours
7. $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years to the Secretary of State
8. Increased cost of insurance
For a second offense within 7 years a driver can be subjected to:
9. A second Misdemeanor criminal conviction
10. 90 day suspension of their driver’s license
11. $125 license reinstatement fee
12. Fines up to $500
13. Another 4 points on their driving record
14. Community service up to 60 days
15. Substantial insurance rate increase or cancellation
16. $500 Driver Responsibility Fee for 2 years to the Secretary of State
17. Jail for up to 93 days
With an experienced, aggressive criminal defense specialist
an individual may be able to avoid the severe penalties listed above.
Your life or the life of your loved one is too valuable to leave to the
whims of a judge or the police.
Drinking, Driving and your CDL
While criminal and civil penalties for drunk driving, including the loss of driving privileges, are harsh in Michigan for ordinary motorists, they are devastating for a person who holds a CDL. The driver who holds a CDL is held to a higher standard. In Michigan the unlawful blood alcohol level for an ordinary licensed driver is .08. However, for a CDL holder who is operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle at the time, the unlawful blood alcohol level is .04!
A conviction for drinking and driving for a CDL holder, even while driving a non-CMV, is far more serious than for an ordinary driver. An ordinary driver who is convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI, the current term for drunk driving in Michigan) as a first offender has their licence “suspended” for six months. This means 30days with absolutely no driving and 150 days of driving with restrictions. If the ordinary driver is convicted of Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) as a first offense, then there is generally just a 90 day restricted licence. OWVI is generally the result of a plea bargain so that drivers can maintain some of their driving privileges (preventing a revocation) and that courts and prosecutors can process drinking and driving cases quickly.
A CDL holder who is convicted of OWI first offense in a non CMV finds their CDL suspended - no restrictions - for the full 6 months. A CDL holder who is convicted of OWVI first offense in a non-CMV finds their CDL suspended - no restrictions - for 90 days. The penalties are even more severe if the drinking and driving occurs while operating a CMV. According to Michigan Complied Laws 257.319b a CDL holder who is convicted of drinking and driving a CMV gets an immediate suspension - no restrictions - for a full year! After the one year period is up the former CDL holder must reapply for their CDL, retaking both the driving and written tests.
If you are a CDL holder, regardless of whether the violation occurs while you are operating a CMV or a personal vehicle, the penalties are severe. Do not try to proceed in this area without an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the serious legal ramifications not just of a drunk driving conviction, but for someone with a CDL as well. Your freedom and livelihood depend on it.
Driver Responsibility Fees
In 2003 the Michigan Legislature passed a series of traffic laws, which created several new “Driver Responsibility Fees” that are assessed by the Secretary of State’s office. The Michigan Secretary of State is required to send notice of the Driver Responsibility Fee to the driver and it is due within 30 days of notice. If not paid within 30 days a second notice is sent. The driver’s license of the individual will be suspended if the fee is not paid within 30 days of the second notice. This suspension of the license is “indefinite”. That means the drivers will never be able to get their license back until the fee is paid.
The Driver Responsibility Fee is due even if the driver does not have a license. If for example, the driver is convicted of OWI and therefore their driving privileges have been suspended, the fees are still due and must be paid despite being ineligible to drive.
Any driver who accumulates 7 or more points for any offense is responsible for Driver Responsibility Fees. At 7 points the driver is assessed $100, and an additional $50 for each additional point above 7. The fee is assessed annually for every year 7 points or more are on the driver’s record.
The following is a list of fees that are assessed by the Secretary of State that must be paid for two consecutive years, regardless of the number of points on an individuals driving record.
Operating While Intoxicated.........................$1,000
Operating While Visibly Impaired................$500
Zero Tolerance/Under 21 and Operating
Under Presence of Alcohol..............$500
Fleeing and Eluding a Police Officer...........$1,000
Driving while License Suspended................$500
Failing to Stop and Disclose
Identification at an accident.........................$1,000
No Proof of Insurance..................................$150
No Operators License on Person..................$150