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Michigan Criminal Law Blog

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Michigan’s “Super Drunk” Law: What You Need to Know

As of October 2010, anyone arrested for driving with an extremely high blood alcohol content in Michigan faces enhanced penalties. Essentially, the law distinguishes between someone who has had one too many drinks and attempts to drive versus drivers who are way over the legal limit and inarguably a threat on the roads. Because the “Super Drunk” law puts drivers at risk for serious legal consequences, it is essential anyone accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol seek legal counsel immediately.

The national blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08%. Some states have set lower limits, which means a person can be arrested if his or her BAC is 0.079% or less.

Michigan lawmakers determined there was also a need to communicate a message about reckless alcohol consumption and driving, so they enacted a law in which people with BAC levels of 0.17% or higher face harsher penalties. These penalties includes a one-year license suspension, up to 180 days in jail, and mandatory attendance in an alcohol rehabilitation program. Those convicted of “Super Drunk” driving must also have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle, which requires drivers to pass a breath test before starting their vehicle.

Price of Super Drunk Driving in Michigan

The costs associated with a Super Drunk driving conviction are steep. Drivers face up to $700 in court fines, as well as the cost of their enrollment in the mandatory alcohol rehabilitation program. They are also responsible for paying for the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock device.

The financial pain doesn’t end there, of course. Anyone convicted of any type of drunk driving – super or otherwise – knows how insurance rates skyrocket after the event, provided he or she is lucky enough to even find coverage.

Keep in mind, all of these fines and penalties do not even take into account you will not be driving for at least a year. A Super Drunk driving conviction will bleed your wallet dry and require you rely on friends, family, and public transportation for at least a year!

The intentions of lawmakers might have been admirable when the Super Drunk Law was first implemented, but some question whether or not the purpose now is to drain as much money as possible from drivers who make mistakes. The law might serve as a drunk driving deterrent, but it also gives the state permission to take massive amounts of money from citizens.

Facing Super Drunk Driving Charges?

If you were arrested for driving under the influence and your blood alcohol was high enough to put you at risk for Super Drunk Law charges, you need to act fast. Just as would be the case with a standard drunk driving arrest, there could be steps an attorney could take that will protect you and help you avoid the worst case scenario.

To learn more about what could happen if you are arrested for Super Drunk driving or to speak with someone about your drunk driving arrest, contact DUI-OWI Lawyer Andrew W. Kowalkowski, PLLC at 248.974.9594 for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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