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Despite having a legal BAC level, Michigan woman faces charges

Here in Michigan, as in most states, the blood alcohol content legal limit is set at 0.08 percent. A resident who has a 0.08 percent BAC and above is considered legally intoxicated and is not allowed to drive a motor vehicle. However, a recent case involving a woman who was charged with drunk driving even though her BAC was below the legal limit may leave residents baffled.

Just North of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County is Bay City, Michigan, where, at 12:21 a.m., a collision occurred. Police reports indicate that a 26-year-old woman was driving her car south when a motorcycle driven by a 47-year-old man collided with her vehicle when she made a turn. The man was airlifted to a medical facility after sustaining fractures to his face and upper body. The front of his motorcycle also has extensive damage.

The woman admitted to having one shot of liquor as well as a rexicodone pill, for which she has a prescription. She consented to the police's request for a breath test and blood extraction. The results of both came back well below the legal threshold. However, a Bay County judge has still charged the woman with intoxicated driving causing serious injury.

The court contends that while the BAC level of the woman is below the limit, Michigan law also states that a resident should not operate a vehicle after consuming any intoxicating substance and liquor, which may cause impaired driving.

Cases such as this, where charges skirt "gray areas," are definitely not hopeless cases for Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County residents. A resident should bear in mind that facing severe consequences for technicalities can cause unnecessary and undeserved damage to the person's life. Therefore, people should understand their legal rights.

Source: Mlive, "Standish woman charged with drunken driving causing injury, though blood alcohol level was below legal cutoff," Cole Waterman, Sept. 04, 2013

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