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Traffic Laws

DUI Defense Firm Representing Clients in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Throughout Michigan Accused of DUI/Drunk Driving

In every state including Michigan, traffic laws must be put in place in order to keep motorists, pedestrians, and others as safe as possible. Regardless of the traffic laws, thousands of traffic accidents occur in the state every year, many of them fatal. In the state of Michigan there were 834 fatal car accidents in 2011; 253 of these fatal accidents involved alcohol. At Grabel & Associates, our goal is to educate you regarding Michigan traffic laws, hopefully helping to prevent potential accidents, fines, and other penalties.

Certain traffic violations are considered misdemeanor or felony offenses, while others are civil infractions. The consequences an individual faces depend on several factors, including the actual violation and how it is resolved. In some cases involving DUI, OWI, or other drunk driving offenses, you may face fines, potential jail time, or be referred to a drunk driving program. License suspension and community service are other penalties that may apply. In addition, failing to pay a traffic ticket may result in license suspension.

Michigan Speed Limits

In most cases, speed limits are posted on Michigan roads and highways. General guidelines are as follows:

  • School zones/residential areas - 25 MPH
  • Construction/work zones in which a lane is closed - 45 MPH
  • Mobile home parks - 15 MPH
  • Michigan freeways - 70 MPH for regular vehicles, 60 MPH for trucks/buses. Buses/trucks 55 MPH on all other freeways

Drinking and Driving

Under Michigan traffic laws, it is illegal for individuals to operate a motor vehicle if:

  • Blood alcohol level is .08 or higher, and you are 21 or older
  • Blood alcohol level is .02 or higher, and you are under 21 years of age

If an individual is driving in a reckless manner, he/she may be considered intoxicated when blood alcohol level is lower than .08.

Michigan Seat Belts Law

In Michigan, the laws regarding the use of seat belts are different from many states in that only certain passengers are required to wear a seat belt. The general rules include:

  • Passengers riding in the front sear must wear a seat belt at all times
  • Children up to the age of four must be securely fastened in a child safety seat at all times
  • Passengers who are between four and 15 years of age riding in the rear seat must wear a seat belt at all times


Intersections can be extremely dangerous; many motorists believe that green means "go," but you should only proceed with caution after observing what other motorists are doing. Some important rules regarding intersections include:

  • Yield to the driver on the right when arriving at a four-way stop or other intersection without traffic signals or signs at the same time another motorist arrives at the intersection. Any vehicles that reach the intersection before you do have the right-of-way.

  • Right-of-way must be given to oncoming traffic and pedestrians when turning left at an intersection.

  • Slow down prior to arriving at an intersection when a yield sign is present; yield to any vehicle in the intersection, as well as to cross traffic. Always stop when necessary at a yield sign.

Traffic Convictions and Points Assigned

The DMV may assign demerit points to your driving record for certain traffic violations. These include:

Two Points:

  • Driving 10 MPH or less over the legal speed limit
  • Having an open alcohol container in your vehicle
  • Refusing a PBT (Preliminary Breath Test) if you are under 21

Three Points:

  • Driving 11 to 15 MPH over legal speed limit
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or at a railroad crossing
  • Disobeying a school crossing guard
  • Improper passing, disobeying strop sign or traffic signal
  • Careless driving

Four Points:

  • Failure to show due caution/yield to emergency vehicles
  • Impaired driving
  • Driving 16 MPH or more over legal speed limit
  • Drag racing
  • Any level bodily alcohol content under age 21

Six Points:

  • Refusal to take a chemical test
  • Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing or eluding police officer
  • Failure to stop and provide identification at the scene of a crash
  • Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or higher
  • Felony offense (negligent homicide, manslaughter, etc.) involving use of a motor vehicle

Points will be assigned to your driving record only when you are found guilty or convicted of an offense, or determined responsible for a civil infraction. These points will remain on your record for two years from the date convicted.

A traffic violation conviction will result in court fines and costs. Every traffic violation is assigned a point value; these values are set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code.

Contact Scott Grabel Now for Aggressive Legal Representation

At Grabel & Associates, we vigorously defend individuals accused of all types of traffic violations, including DUI/drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, and more. As a highly regarded Michigan defense firm, we have reached positive results for thousands of clients across the state. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case at 1-800-342-7896.

Client Reviews

Scott and Bob achieved exactly the result I was looking for. They were prompt and effective. If I ever have any other legal issues (which hopefully I don't)... I'd certainly work with them again. M. C.
Scott Grabel was kind enough to look into my situation and take his time to speak with me free of charge. Most attorneys will not do that. He gave me reassurance that I had nothing to worry about. If I am ever in need of an attorney in the future I will be calling Scott Grabel and will highly recommend him to anyone with a legal issue. G. K.
Highly recommended lawyer! Mr. Grabel is very professional and knowledgable. My case happened suddenly on Saturday, but Mr. Grabel is 24/7 on call, which was what I needed. I called on Saturday night and the front desk told me I would hear back from the lawyer shortly. Only 30mins later, I got a call from Mr. Grabel himself and he eased my anxiety quickly by explaining the situation and options I had. I knew I was in good hands. ... Z. W.