There are not many states that are easier on drunk drivers than Michigan, according to a new report put out by Wallethub. According to their research, when looking at the most lenient states, Michigan ranks out at No. 9 overall.
Other states that ranked similarly were Vermont and Pennsylvania. The study looked at Washington D.C. and all 50 states.
There are many reasons for the ranking, one of which is that a second DUI conviction in Michigan still isn’t a felony, as it is elsewhere. The felony charges do not kick in until the third time around. Plus, jail time is minimal for those first two convictions. The minimum for a second offense is five days and there is no minimum at all for the first offense.
Of course, jail time isn’t all that is considered. The fines in Michigan are relatively low, and insurance rates don’t tend to increase very much, just going up by an average of 9 percent.
Michigan also forgets old DUIs rather quickly. They don’t impact new penalties — bringing on harsher penalties for a second offense, for example — after seven years. In some states, a DUI impacts later penalties for 15 years or for life.
To put Michigan’s ranking into some perspective, it’s worth noting that South Dakota ranks out at No. 1 overall as far as being the most lenient. Arizona tops the list when looking at the states with the harshest penalties.
Despite Michigan’s place on the list, a DUI charge isn’t something to take lightly, and it’s important to know all of your legal defense options.
Source: MLive.com, “Michigan among states most lenient on DUI, report says,” Brandon Champion, Aug. 10, 2017