The state of Michigan has recently tightened their laws of drunk driving in an attempt to curb the practice as much as possible. Specifically, a ‘Super Drunk Law’ has been enacted that has increased the severity of penalties for individuals that have been convicted for driving with extremely significant levels of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). This means that if you get a conviction, your right to drive will be revoked, your employment will be jeopardized and you may also have to live with a permanent criminal record.
The Super Drunk Law of Michigan applies both to drivers with no previous DUI convictions within the past seven years as well as for drivers with a prior DUI conviction within the past seven years. For the former category, this Super Law holds if the driver was caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.17% or higher while for the latter, the penalties can be even more severe.
To put this in perspective, in a regular drunk driving case, where a person is driving with a BAC below 0.17%, the maximum jail time is 93 days while under the Super Drunk law, the maximum jail time is 180 days. In the regular case, your license can be suspended for 30 days and restricted driving for 150 days while under the Super Drunk law, the person cannot drive for 45 days and restricted driving for 320 days. Even for the period of restricted driving, the person convicted under the Super Drunk law has to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.
Speaking of the financial penalties, a regular drunk driving conviction comes with fines of $100 to $500 while fines for a Super Drunk case range from $200 to $700 along with a requirement of receiving alcohol treatment for a minimum of one year.
These changes were brought about in Michigan by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 2008 with almost no opposition. Technically, this law is known as the “high blood alcohol content enhanced penalty law”. The punishments associated with this law have been kept deliberately high and severe to serve the purpose of reducing the cases of drunk driving.
At the same time, if you find yourself caught being charged under the Super Drunk law, it becomes even more vital to get legal expertise as early as possible. It can be a frightening situation but an experienced attorney can properly inform and guide you through all of the phases of the court process. Even with the prospect of such severe penalties looming, your attorney will investigate all details of your case to prepare your defense and find ways to have your charges dropped. At the very least, an experienced lawyer will be able to have your penalties reduced from that of a Super Drunk law to that of a regular DUI conviction. In all cases, it is always better to be informed of the law and legal resources and then make informed decisions in order to avoid life-changing adverse consequences.