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Serious Impairment of Bodily Function

In 2010, the state of Michigan enacted revisions to its drunk driving laws that included a new charge called Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function (MVCSIBF). This charge is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

A conviction is also punishable by a one-year suspension of your driver's license, six points on your driving record, and a $1,000 driver responsibility fee, which you will have to pay for two years. It is, therefore, important for a person to contact a Michigan DUI attorney to help combat these penalties.

What Constitutes MVCSIBF?

Like all crimes, the crime of Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function, is made up of elements. The prosecution must prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt. There are only three elements for a MVCSIBF. As you may have guessed, the first element is that you violated the traffic code in some way and have therefore received a citation for a moving violation. Again, easy to guess, but the second element is that someone suffered a serious impairment of a bodily function, because of, number three, your negligent operation of the motor vehicle. In other words, there must be a causal connection between the operation and the injury. Notice however, that this crime does not require any degree of impairment or intoxication by drugs or alcohol. People charged with this crime are generally 100% sober.

Serious Impairment of a Body Function Defined

The terms “serious impairment” and “body function” are very broadly defined. They include things like broken bones, brain hemorrhage or bleeding or bruising, loss of function of a body part or organ, scaring, etc. It is a relatively low standard and Michigan case law has further broadened the statutory definitions for these phrases which have increased the types of injuries that might qualify as creating a serious impairment. You can also be charged with MVCSIBF if the victim is in a comatose state for three or more days because of your driving.

Penalty for Violation of Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function

The crime of MVCSIBF is considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. In addition, there are driver license sanctions, points will be assigned, and you will also suffer from various collateral consequences. This is also a moving violation, and this means that a conviction for MVCSIBF can never be removed from your record.

Prosecutor Must Show Proximate Cause

The statute that applies to this crime is found a Michigan Compiled Laws Sec. 257.601d. This law provides that the prosecutor must show “proximate cause” if a death has occurred. See subsection one. The words proximate cause do not appear in subsection two, which is the part of the law that applies to serious injury. Proximate cause is governed by the “but-for” test. The question is whether the harm would have occurred but for the operation of your motor vehicle.

Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function in Conjunction With OWI

On its own, a Moving Violation Causing Serious Impairment of a Body Function is a misdemeanor charge. However, if the driver was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, the MVCSIBF charge may be elevated to a felony. The maximum penalty for conviction of felony MVCSIBF is five years in prison, a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, and all applicable driving sanctions. There are also enhanced penalties for a BAC over .17.

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