Michigan’s Drunk Driving Costs

drunk driving costAccording to the Criminal Justice Information Center, an average of 103 drivers are arrested each day in Michigan for drunk and impaired driving. The cost of driving drunk in Michigan never adds up, yet, people continue to get behind the wheel and drive while intoxicated, despite the risks of injury, death, and the financial burden drunk driving causes. In Michigan, a first-time drunk driving offense may cost around $10,000 for legal and court fines and fees, but, that same $10,000 could be just the beginning.

Under Michigan’s impaired driving law, a first-time drunk driving offense will have the following costs and penalties:

BAC < .17:

  • Up to $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 180 days license suspension

BAC ≥ .17:

  • Up to $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to one year license suspension
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • Ignition interlock installation and maintenance

In addition, anyone convicted of drunk driving in Michigan is subject to a $1,000 penalty for two years.

The costs of a drunk driving conviction in Michigan are more than what is legally required of the offender, however. Court costs, fines and fees may be a documentable cost, but, there are other financial considerations. If a person is sentenced to serve time in jail, he or she is at risk for job loss and/or loss of income. With the license suspension requirement, a Michigan drunk driver may face unemployment, as well, and even community service guidelines can interfere with employment schedules and obligations. Car insurance premiums may also rise, and the cost of installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device can become an additional burden, as is the cost of any substance abuse treatment and/or education programs.

Of course, if a person is injured in a drunk driving incident in Michigan, there are costs associated with any medical procedures, examinations and recovery time. Because the cost of a drunk driving incident in Michigan is so high, the smartest financial choice a person can make is to remain sober at all times behind the wheel.

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