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Michigan Laws

Michigan has a number of laws prohibiting intoxicated driving. The two main categories are operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OWI) and operating while visibly impaired (OWVI) by drugs or alcohol. However, some people still use the “DUI.”

An OWI—the more serious of the two offenses—involves operating a vehicle while:

  • + under the influence of an alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance
  • + having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater, or
  • + having any amount of controlled substance (illegal drugs) in the body.

In contrast, an OWVI conviction requires proof only that the driver shows visible signs of impairment due to ingesting alcohol or drugs.

  1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Up to 93 days jail (up to 180 days if BAC was .17% or greater)
5 days to one year One to five years (30 days to one year if community service ordered)
$100 to $500 ($200 to $700 if BAC was .17% or greater) and $100 to $300 for OWVI
$200 to $1,000 $500 to $5,000
Community Service
Up to 360 hours
30 to 90 days 60 to 180 days

Michigan's Repeat Offender laws are designed to get tough with drivers who repeatedly drive drunk or drive while on a suspended or revoked license. You are a Repeat Offender if you have:

  • +Two or more alcohol-related convictions within 7 years.
  • +Three or more alcohol-related convictions within 10 years.
  • +Three or more convictions for driving while your license is suspended or revoked in 7 years, if those convictions resulted in mandatory additional suspensions or revocations.

If you are arrested as a repeat offender, the law-enforcement officer will destroy the metal license plate of the vehicle you are driving, even if you don't own the vehicle. A temporary paper license plate will be issued, which will allow the vehicle to be driven legally. A new metal license plate cannot be issued until your case is resolved in court.

A registration denial is imposed against a Repeat Offender. Registration denial includes all vehicles that are owned, co-owned, leased, or co-leased by the Repeat Offender. During the period of registration denial it is a crime for the Repeat Offender to purchase, lease, or obtain a vehicle, or to attempt to do those things. Unless the Repeat Offender gets a court order, he or she may not transfer the vehicle's registration to any family member if that vehicle is immobilized, forfeited, or subject to registration denial, or a temporary registration plate has been issued for the vehicle. Registration denial continues until the Repeat Offender is eligible for another driver license.

The Repeat Offender laws include other penalties, in addition to metal plate confiscation and registration denial. There may be driver license suspensions or revocations, an ignition interlock device may be required, and there may be mandatory substance abuse treatment. There may also be vehicle immobilization or forfeiture.

Repeat Offenders who cause an accident that results in long-term injury or death may be charged with a felony.



If you have any of the following combination of drunk or drugged driving convictions, the law indicates that you are a Habitual Offender:

  • +Two or more convictions within 7 years.
  • +Three or more convictions within 10 years.

The Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver license of a Habitual Offender and deny his or her application for another license.

After the minimum period of revocation/denial, a Habitual Offender may be eligible for a driver license appeal hearing. If a restricted license is ordered, the hearing officer must require that the Habitual Offender install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device [BAIID] on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. The person cannot drive until the BAIID is properly installed and proof of installation is presented to a local Secretary of State branch office.

Beginning October 31, 2010, anyone with a restricted license that requires a BAIID must continue to drive with the device until the Secretary of State authorizes him or her to remove it.

A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer, with computer logic and an internal memory. It connects with a motor vehicle's ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver's bodily alcohol content [BAC], and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is .025 or higher. Effective June 6, 2016, the BAIID must include a camera capable of recording a digital image of the individual providing the sample. The device will also ask for random retests while the person is driving [rolling retests].

If the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures in a monitoring period, or 1 rolling retest failure, or if it detects tampering, the vehicle must be taken to a service center immediately. If that service is not done, the BAIID will go into a "lock-out" mode, and the vehicle cannot be operated.

Test failures, tampering, or other BAIID-related violations will result in an extension of the time before the driver can ask for another driver license appeal hearing, or may require that the original license revocation/denial be reinstated.

If you have ANY questions about the BAIID installed on your vehicle, ask your installer. Make sure you understand how to operate the BAIID before you leave the installer's place of business. You will be responsible for the consequences of the device's operation.

The State of Michigan does not regulate the cost of BAIIDs. However, the law does limit the amount that can be charged to low income persons to a maximum of $2.00 per day. To qualify for this reduced fee, your gross income for the previous tax year must be less than 150% of the current poverty guidelines of the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. A copy of the Michigan state income tax form you filed for the previous year will be required to verify your gross income. Contact Smart Choice Monitoring at (888)234-0198 for more details to determine if you qualify for the reduced fee.


Service Center Locations


You must use a vendor and device that have been approved by the State of Michigan. Your driver license appeal order/authorization for restrictions will include the most current list of approved vendors.

Smart Choice Monitoring is approved by the State of Michigan approved vendor.

For more information on getting a BAIID installed, call 1(888) 234-0198.

If a hearing officer orders a restricted license for you with a BAIID requirement, you must drive under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at least 1 full year.

If there are alcohol readings or other BAIID violations after the device is installed, your vendor will report them to the Secretary of State. As indicated before, the possible consequences of those reports may include an extension of the time before you can request another license appeal hearing, or the reinstatement of the original license revocation/denial.

When you are eligible, you may request a license appeal hearing to ask that the restrictions be removed from your license. At that hearing, you must present the report(s) from your BAIID provider(s) to prove that the device was installed for at least the minimum required length of time, and to establish whether there were any alcohol readings or other BAIID violations.


If your hearing was held, or your restricted license that requires a BAIID, was issued on or after October 31, 2010, you must keep the device on your vehicle until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove it.

You have the option to change BAIID vendors, but you must have a new device installed within 7 days after the previous one is removed. You must also send your new installation certificate to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. You must submit a BAIID report from each vendor at your next license appeal hearing.

You will be responsible for all the fees you agreed to in your contract with each vendor.

If you have a question or problem that is not covered in the written materials from your BAIID provider, you should call Smart Choice Monitoring at (888)234-0198. If Smart Choice Monitoring is not able to help you, then you may contact the Department at (888)767-6424.

It is to your benefit to keep a notebook listing any problems you have, and all contacts with your vendor with as much detailed information as possible.

If you have a complaint against a BAIID vendor or manufacturer, please submit it in writing to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight:

Michigan Department of State
Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight
P.O. Box 30196
Lansing, MI 48909-7696

Violations of the BAIID program for habitual offenders are divided into "minor" and "major" categories.

Minor Violations:

  • +A driver has 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, it is a minor violation if the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures within a monitoring period. A start-up test failure means the BAIID has prevented the vehicle from starting. A monitoring period is the full length of time the BAIID is required to be properly installed.
  • +If the driver fails to report the BAIID installer for servicing within 7 days after his or her scheduled monitoring date, it is a minor violation.

Major Violations:

  • +Rolling retest violation:
    • -Failing to take the rolling retest when prompted by the BAIID; or
    • -The random retest detects a BAC of .025 or higher, and there is no subsequent sample with a BAC of less than .025 within 5 minutes.
  • +An arrest or conviction for drunk and/or drugged driving.
  • +Tampering with the BAIID.
  • +Circumventing the BAIID.
  • +Three minor violations within a monitoring period.
  • +Removing the BAIID without having another device installed within 7 days, unless the Secretary of State has authorized the removal.
  • +Operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID.

Minor violations will result in a 3-month extension of the time before you may request another license appeal hearing.

Major violations will result in the immediate reinstatement of your original driver license revocation/denial. You may appeal that action to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted within 14 days after the effective date of the reinstatement.

If you decide that you want the restricted license, you will have 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a start-up test failure. After the first 2 months, any instance of a .025 or higher BAC reading will result in another 1-year suspension. However, any rolling retest failure will result in an additional 1-year suspension of your driver license. You may be eligible for another restricted license after serving 45 days of suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

As a High BAC offender, you will be eligible to ask for permission to remove the BAIID 1 year after the beginning of your original license suspension – if you have not violated the terms of your driver license restrictions.

You must include a report(s) from your BAIID vendor(s) to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight with your request for authorization to remove the BAIID.

Your request may be approved if there are NONE of the following:

  • +Instances of BAIID test samples with a BAC of .025 or higher.
  • +Convictions for operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID.
  • +Evidence of tampering with, or circumventing, the BAIID.

If your request is approved, you must take your Order Authorizing BAIID Removal to your provider before the device can be removed.

If no other license sanctions are in effect, you may take the Order Authorizing BAIID Removal to a Secretary of State branch office, pay the reinstatement fee, and return to full driving.

If you have your provider remove the BAIID without Secretary of State authorization, the provider is required to report the removal to the Secretary of State. This may be treated as an unauthorized removal, and may result in driver license sanctions.