In the Ann Arbor area, I know that drunk driving is taken very seriously, as it should be. Michigan recently enacted a new “super drunk” law, which provides stiffer penalties and jail time for those people convicted of a DWI where their blood-alcohol level is more than .17. There is a mandatory loss of driving privileges for 45 days, after which the driver must buy an ignition interlock system to test the driver’s breath before the car will start. Standard drunk driving charges apply when the blood-alcohol level is more than .08.
A Saline, Michigan woman was charged under the new law on July 5. She was spotted driving erratically by an off-duty fireman who notified the authorities. Officers say the driver began tailgating the police vehicle, after which she hit a roadside curb. Her preliminary blood-alcohol level registered at .217, three times the legal limit and over the .17 threshold for application of the law with stronger penalties. Her case is pending charges from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office.
The “super drunk” law provides for jail time up to double of what is applied under the basic DWI statute. Higher monetary fines may be imposed as well. While driving while intoxicated is a serious matter in the Ann Arbor area, I feel it is also important to note that people make mistakes. I know the way laws are applied is sometimes complicated and confusing to the average citizen, especially for a person feeling the stress of having criminal charges filed against them. An attorney knowledgeable in handling these types of cases may be able to help.
Source: Ann Arbor, “Saline police awaiting charges for driver under ‘super drunk’ law,” Heidi Fenton, July 15, 2011.