Following the rules of the road while driving in Michigan is key to ensuring your own safety, as well as all motorists on the road. It can also help you avoid a traffic ticket from a police officer.
This article provides information on traffic laws and driving rules in Michigan—including the Michigan vehicle code, statutes on common traffic violations, and state driving manuals.
Use the following driving manuals and vehicle codes to learn more about several topics:
The linked material at the end of this article goes in-depth about traffic laws specific to Michigan. Learn more about:
- Basic traffic rules and common moving violations, like who has the right-of-way and what happens if you run a red light
- Crossing paths and yielding to emergency vehicles and school buses
- Special rules for school zones and railroad crossings
- Speed limits for varying roads, highways, and freeways
- Penalties for careless driving, reckless driving, and drag racing
- Driver's license suspension, revocation, and reinstatement
- Traffic control devices and traffic signals, such as stop lights, stop signs, yield signs, and 4-way stops
- Michigan's points system and how it impacts driving records
- Laws about the usage of electronic devices and cell phones while driving
- Safety regulations for seat belts, booster seats, and child restraints
Speeding in Michigan
Speeding violations in Michigan are expensive, with fines up to $310. The easiest way to avoid a costly citation is to always obey the posted speed limit.
Michigan uses varying speed limits for different roadways:
- 70-75 mph for highways
- 55 mph for county highways, including gravel or unpaved roads
- 25 mph for residential areas
- 15 mph for mobile home parks
Work zones, construction areas, and school zones often require lower speeds. Fines for speeding in these areas are also higher.
Drunk Driving in Michigan
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime in Michigan. The penalties for a first-time Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) offense include a $500 fine and up to 93 days in jail. Penalties are steeper for repeat offenses and for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher.
Michigan law uses varying blood alcohol content (BAC) levels within their impaired driving laws:
- .08 for motorists 21+
- .02 and up for motorists under 21
- .04 for commercial drivers
- .17 incurs steeper penalties due to Michigan's high-BAC law
First and second drunk driving offenses are misdemeanors. Third and subsequent offenses (within seven years of a prior conviction) are felonies.
The consequences are even more severe if you are driving under the influence and involved in a car accident. If the accident results in serious impairment of a body function or death, you could be guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If a drunk driving accident in Michigan results in death, you could be guilty of vehicular manslaughter. The penalties for this crime include up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. You could face even more prison time if you were driving with a BAC of .17% or higher.
Traffic Violation? Get Help Now
If you have been ticketed for a traffic violation in the state of Michigan, you should contact a traffic ticket attorney in your area. An experienced attorney can review your citation to ensure the police officer is sure you transgressed Michigan traffic laws. This may save you a costly fine and keep points off your driver's license.
If you have been charged with a more serious offense, like a DUI or OWI, consider reaching out to a criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your charge, challenge evidence, and negotiate with the prosecution.