Will I Go to Jail for my Michigan DWI?

ignition interlockIf you have been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Michigan, you are probably aware that you could serve some time in jail if you are convicted. Like many states, however, Michigan’s DWI laws are “graduated” in a sense to encourage rehabilitation instead of heavy-handed punishments to an extent. Because no DWI incident is alike, there are different factors that could cause you to spend some time in jail, and others that may only require an ignition interlock installation on your car.

If it is your first DWI and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was less than 0.17, chances are you’re not going to jail. If it’s a first offense and your BAC is 0.17 or higher, you will probably be required to serve jail time. The maximum jail time you can serve for this is 180 days in jail. If you have had prior DWI offenses or if your offense is a felony DWI, you will be required to serve jail time as well.

  • A second offense will require you to serve a minimum of five days in jail.
  • A third DWI offense is considered a felony offense and you will be required to spend a minimum of 30 days in jail.
  • If there was an injury or death as a result of your drunk driving you are pretty much guaranteed to be sentenced to multiple years in prison.

A DWI conviction in Michigan does not always require a jail sentence, especially for many first-time convictions. With options like substance abuse treatment programs, ignition interlock installations, community service, fines, court costs and the entire process of reclaiming your life after a DWI, most courts hope that the initial lessons learned are enough to keep you sober behind the wheel, without serving jail time.

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