Understanding Michigan’s Zero Tolerance Laws

Young man in car looking in rear view mirror with police car behind him.

Teen Drivers and Zero Tolerance Laws

Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol isn’t a smart decision and can quickly turn into a devastating event — even if you’ve only “had a drop” to drink. Not only does driving while intoxicated put your life in danger, the lives of your passengers and other people on the road are also at risk.

Michigan has strict laws when it comes to intoxicated and impaired drivers. And, for young adults under 21, the zero tolerance laws are even more stringent. Here’s what you need to know.

Driving While Intoxicated Under 21

Drivers under 21 are less experienced on the road, and, when coupled with alcohol, the consequences could be deadly. Under Michigan’s zero tolerance laws, individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any bodily alcohol content. This means you can be charged with a DUI for having a BAC of as little as 0.02.

Furthermore, possessing an alcoholic beverage under the age of 21, whether in a motor vehicle or not, can result in a driver’s license suspension. Read on to learn more about the penalties involved in zero tolerance laws.

Penalties Under Zero Tolerance

Penalties include:

  • First Offense
    • Up to $250 in fines, up to 360 hours of community service, or both.
    • Restricted driver’s license for 30 days.
    • 4 points on the offenders driving record.
  • Second Offense
    • Fine up to $500.
    • Up to 60 days of community service.
    • Up to 93 days in jail.
    • 4 points added to the offender’s driving record.
    • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days. If the offender has a prior drunk or drugged driving conviction, their driver’s license can be revoked (or denied) for a minimum of 1 year. If the offender had a prior revocation within seven years, then the revocation/denial has a minimum of 5 years.

Purchasing, Consuming, or Possessing Alcohol Under 21

Penalties include:

  • First offense - $100 fine (no driver’s license penalty).
  • Second offense - $200 fine, suspension of driver’s license for 30 days and restricted for 60 days.
  • Third offense - $500 fine, suspension of driver’s license for 60 days, and restriction for 305 days.
  • Community service.
  • Alcohol screening.

Transporting or Possessing Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle Under 21

Penalties include:

  • Driver’s license suspensions:
    • First offense - there is no driver’s license suspension.
    • Second offense - suspension of driver’s license for 30 days and restricted for 60 days.
    • Third offense - suspension of driver’s license for 60 days and restriction for 305 days.
  • Alcohol screening.
  • Community service.
  • Vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days.
  • 2 points added to the offenders driving record.

Purchasing Alcohol With Fraudulent ID

Penalties include:

  • Fine up to $100.
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days.
  • Alcohol screening.

Charged with a DUI? We Can Help.

Fighting a DUI or other alcohol-related charge relating to zero tolerance laws means you’ll need an experienced criminal defense team. Violating zero tolerance laws is a serious matter — as well as a scary situation. When you are unsure of your future, we are here to help.

At Grewal Law PLLC, our team of attorneys will protect your rights and fight to get you the best possible outcome.

Call Grewal Law PLLC at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a consultation and learn your rights.

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