What happens when you’re arrested for drunk driving?

Receiving a drunk driving charge in Michigan is no laughing matter. The process can be complex, and in some cases you may find yourself paying exorbitant legal costs and fines as a result of your transgression. Very Well Mind explains what occurs after a DUI, from the initial arrest to the probationary period.


After being arrested you’ll be taken by police to the nearest station. In most cases, you’ll need to remain in police custody until you’re sober for your own safety. You’ll also be able to call a person to pick you up once law enforcement determines it’s OK for you to leave. While in custody your fingerprints and mug shot will be taken.

Court appearance

You’ll be provided with information on your court appearance when you’re released. At the hearing, you can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. It can be very difficult to offer a not guilty plea, especially after taking a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. In the latter case, the arresting officer may even play back dashcam footage of you taking the test, which will sway the court towards a guilty verdict if you appear to be inebriated.

Punitive measures

If you’re found guilty, you’ll be subject to a few different punishments. Many people end up losing their license, either for a few months or permanently in serious cares. You may be able to request a provisional license to drive to and from work, but the details of this can vary from state to state. You’ll also be subject to a fine. Fines can vary quite a bit, and if injuries or property damage was involved you can expect a higher fine to be levied. Finally, you may face jail time, probation, or possibly both after the court determines a guilty verdict.

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