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Drunk or 'Super Drunk'? The difference matters for DUI

Once you cross the 0.08 blood alcohol content line, getting behind the wheel of a car is asking for trouble. But in many states, there's another BAC line you should be aware of. In Michigan, there are especially steep penalties for drunk driving with a BAC of 0.17.

If a drunk driver falls into this "super drunk" category, the consequences can be much steeper than after a conviction with a lower BAC. Here are some potential consequences of a first offense of driving while "super drunk":

  • Fines: up to $700
  • Jail time: up to 180 days
  • Community service: up to 360 hours
  • License suspension: up to 1 year, followed by a required ignition interlock and other license restrictions
  • Points on your license: 6
  • Required alcohol treatment program

Repeat offenders can face even steeper sanctions. Still, note the "up to" in the list above and remember that an attorney can often help reduce these penalities. 

If you're out of state, be aware that many other states also have increased penalties for especially high BACs, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin. There's a reason these laws are common: the majority of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes have BAC levels of 0.15 or more, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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