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Michigan to toughen DUI laws and seat belt usage

As Ann Arbor, Michigan prepares for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, police will also be watching activities closely in their campaign to prevent drunk driving accidents.

According to a recent news article, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, along with local and state officials, will be coordinating a campaign against drunk drivers and seat belt violators throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Law enforcement officials from 26 counties will be combining funding and will begin cracking down on violators from August 16 through September 2. Last year, authorities arrested 344 motorists on drunk driving charges. They also cited 4,587 motorists for seat belt violations.

According to state law, drivers and passengers 15 years of age and younger are required to wear a seatbelt. Children below eight years of age or below four feet nine inches tall must be in a car seat or a booster seat. A citation for a seat belt violation is $65.

It is also illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 or higher. The national BAC standard is also 0.08. Authorities may arrest a person if their BAC level is below 0.08 if they determine that the motorist is impaired.

Punishment for a first-time drunk driving offense is up to 93 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. The person may also have to serve 360 hours of community service and possibly get a license suspension for up to 180 days.

A drunk driving conviction can have adverse consequences. The penalties can add up and remain on the person's driving record. It may create a social stigma against those convicted and may also affect their ability to generate income.

A legal professional might be able to help. A person who is facing drunk driving charges is encouraged to speak with a Driving Under the Influence defense professional in Ann Arbor. The legal professional can assess the charges and may be able to provide sound advice. The legal professional may also assist in reducing the jail sentence.

Source: MLive.com, "Police to begin drunken driving, seat belt crackdown," Bob Johnson, Aug. 14, 2013

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