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Federal & State Agencies Propose to Adopt Legislation to Reduce Blood Alcohol Content Legal Limits For Drunk Drivers

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As a result in the increase of blood alcohol content (BAC) levels amongst drunk drivers, several federal and state agencies have proposed to adopt legislation that will reduce the current legal BAC limit from .08% to .05%.

For instance, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended that all 50 states adopt a BAC cutoff of 0.05%. The agency claims that lowering the legal limit will save over 500 to 800 lives annually.

In Utah, lawmakers are currently considering lowering the state's BAC limit from .08% to .05% as well. Some states are responding in drastically different ways to the NTSB recommendations. For instance, Indiana lawmakers do not think that the BAC limit decrease to 0.05% is realistic in their state. Other states are now unsettled by the proposed recommendations since their residents may be arrested for drunk driving after having only a few drinks.

In Michigan, the current BAC limit is .08%. According to the 2012 Annual Michigan Drunk Driving Audit, over 456 breath tests were administered in Washtenaw County. The majority of people who took the tests had BAC levels ranging from .10% to .99%. With such high BAC levels amongst arrestees, Michigan lawmakers may consider reducing the current legal BAC level for drunk driving offenses in the future.

Michigan currently has a "super drunk law" that enhances the criminal sentencing and penalties for drunk driving offenders whose BAC level is .17% or greater.

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 a Alcohol Treatment Program

Up to 1 Year License Suspension, Ignition Interlock Device Installation & 6 Points on Driver's License.

The super drunk driving law was implemented in 2010 in order to help reduce drunk driving related criminal offenses by imposing stiffer penalties for people driving with high BAC levels.

I will be gathering and presenting additional information in future blog articles regarding the impact of the super drunk driving law in reducing high BAC criminal offenses in Michigan.

If you have been arrested and charged under the drunk driving laws 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 a number of clients mitigate the short and long-term consequences of OWIs.



Annual Michigan Drunk Driving Audit

Researcher Pitches Lawmakers On Lowering Legal Drinking Limit

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