If you are arrested for drunk driving in Michigan, resolving your case can be expensive and nerve-wracking. Take solace, however. According to a recent report by the personal finance website Wallethub, things would be a lot worse if you were arrested in most other states.
The Wallethub report states Michigan is the ninth most lenient state in terms of penalties issued for a drunk driving conviction. How are Michigan DUI laws more lenient than some other states? A DUI is not considered a felony in Michigan until the third offense. Also, the state does not have a minimum jail time for a first conviction and requires a minimum of five days for a second DUI.
In comparison, a first conviction of drunk driving in Arizona, which is ranked by Wallethub as the country's most strict DUI state, can include a 10-day jail sentence. A second conviction has a minimum jail sentence of 90 days.
Michigan DUIs have shorter life spans
Michigan DUIs also stay on a driver's record for a shorter time than many other states. Previous DUIs factor into penalties for subsequent arrests for seven years. Five states never drop a DUI conviction from a driving record; many others keep a DUI conviction on a driving record for 15 years.
The minimum fine for a first DUI offense in Michigan is $100 and $200 for a second offense. Nationwide, the average fine for a first DUI offense is $352 and $762 for a second offense.
The average insurance rate increase following a DUI conviction in Michigan is 9 percent, the lowest of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. In all other states, the average insurance rate increase is at least double digits. North Carolina has the largest average increase at 112 percent.
Don't misinterpret these statistics. A drunk driving conviction in Michigan can disrupt your life and the lives of those you love. If you are arrested for drunk driving, it is always a smart idea to work with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney who can protect your rights.