Michigan traffic law can be confusing, especially when you don’t know what qualifies as impaired or distracted driving. Here, an experienced criminal defense attorney answers your frequently asked questions about Michigan traffic laws.
Impaired driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Michigan, that means that the impaired driving law is applied to any driving that occurs after the driver has used alcohol and/or drugs. (See below for further definition of blood alcohol content.)
Drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance can face the same penalties as drunk drivers, even without signs of impairment.
The penalties for impaired driving depend on your blood alcohol content, the presence of drugs, and your age.
If your BAC is below .17, you’re over the age of 21, and this is your first offense, you could face the following penalties if convicted of drunk driving:
If your BAC is .17 or higher, you’re 21 or older, and this is your first offense, you could face the following penalties if convicted of drunk driving:
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes and near-crashes. It’s important to know what distracted driving is, what behaviors count as distracted driving, and what the penalties are.
Under Michigan’s distracted driving law, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving and using a handheld device or a phone in their lap. Additionally, truck drivers, school bus drivers, and teen drivers on a Level 1 or 2 graduated license face even tougher restrictions. These drivers can’t hold, dial, answer, talk, listen, or reach for a cell phone while driving.
There is a wide range of behaviors that fall under distracted driving. These include:
The penalties for distracted driving depend on several factors, including the driver’s age, the type of vehicle, and whether the driver was texting.
If caught texting while driving, you may face the following penalties: a $100 fine for a first offense, a civil infraction, and a $200 fine for subsequent violations. It’s uncommon to get points on your license for texting while driving.
Truck drivers, school bus drivers, and teen drivers face tougher penalties for using a cell phone while driving. Teen drivers will also face increased restrictions on their learner’s permit. If a truck or school bus driver violates the texting while driving ban, they get two points on their license. If they have two violations within 36 months, they may face a 60-day license suspension. If they have three violations within 36 months, they may face an additional 120-day suspension.
If you get arrested for violating a Michigan traffic law, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate for you. JAD Law is here to help. Contact JAD Law today to schedule an appointment.
JAD Law serves several counties across Metro Detroit, Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne counties.