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Michigan's Super Drunk Driving Law


On October 31, 2010, the "super drunk" driving law became effective in Michigan. This law enhances the criminal penalties and sentencing guidelines for drivers who operate motor vehicles with a high blood alcohol level (BAC) content. Recent statistics have shown that about one-third of suspected drunk drivers test at the enhanced penalty levels.

Read on to learn more about the super drunk driving law and the penalties and sentencing a person may incur if convicted under the law.

Overview of the Super Drunk Driving Law

Under the provisions of the "super drunk" driving law, drivers that operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .17% or greater will incur enhanced criminal penalties and sentencing if convicted.

Such drivers will also have to undergo mandatory alcohol rehabilitation, which may consist of either an in-patient or out-patient alcohol treatment program. If a driver is convicted under the super drunk law more than once, he or she will be subject to the same minimum, enhanced penalties and sentencing of a first time offender. However, drivers with a subsequent super drunk conviction are more likely to face increased criminal penalties by the sentencing judge.

Sentencing & Penalties for a Super Drunk Driving Law Conviction


Court Fines

Jail Sentence

License Suspension

1st Conviction

Up to $700

180 Days in Jail & 360 Hours of Community Service & Mandatory Completion of an Alcohol Treatment Program

Up to 1 Year License Suspension, Ignition Interlock Device Installation and restricted driving after 45 days of no driving, & 6 Points on Driver's License.

Driving Restrictions

If a person is convicted of violating the super drunk driving law, then he or she will not be permitted to drive for 45 days following the conviction. This is known as a "hard suspension."

A person may be eligible for a restricted license after the 45 days hard license suspension, but only if an ignition interlock device is installed in their vehicle. The driver must pay for the installation of the device and monthly maintenance fees.

The device requires a driver to blow into it in order to measure his or her BAC level prior to being able to start the vehicle. The driver must operate the vehicle with a BAC of .025% or lower and blow into the device every 15 minutes.

If the device detects that the driver's BAC is greater than .025%, the vehicle will turn off after it comes to a complete stop. If this occurs, the driver may face another license suspension and restrictions as well as possible probation violation penalties.

If you have been arrested and charged under the super drunk law in Washtenaw County, contact Ann Arbor criminal defense attorney Stacey Washington to help you navigate through this difficult situation in your life. Stacey Washington has helped several clients mitigate any long-term consequences of OWIs


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