We have been representing persons charged under Michigan’s Super Drunk law and drunk driving cases (OWI) in Macomb and Oakland County since its inception on October 31, 2010. The legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) for Operating while Intoxicated (OWI) is .08% will remain the same. Under Michigan’s Super Drunk law, persons with a high BAC of .17% or greater will face harsh penalties.
Michigan Super Drunk Driving Penalties, High Blood Alcohol Content BAC .17% or Greater
- Hard suspension of license for first 45 days (no driving) and restricted with the requirement of ignition interlock for the remaining 320 days. Individuals who violate their restrictions will obtain another license penalty equal to the above; another 45 days hard suspension and another 320 days on ignition interlock.
- Fine of not less than $200.00 or more than $700.00
- Up to 180 days in Jail, Mandatory 1 year of alcohol/substance abuse rehabilitation
- Driver Responsibility Fee: $1,000.00 per year for 2 years
The Michigan Super Drunk law intends to sort out those with severe drinking problems and punish them accordingly. However, the law cannot accurately conclude that a person who has a BAC of .16% is a lesser risk than the person who has a BAC .17%, and visa versa. However, you can be proactive and will need some case strategy if you are charged with any drinking and driving offense, including prosecution pursuant to the Michigan Super Drunk Law
Hopefully, You Were Cooperative With The Police
If you are ever stopped by the police, you will do yourself a world of good by cooperating. The police will usually place notes in their report regarding your cooperation. Cooperation does not mean volunteering information or sucking up to the cop. Be polite, have your papers in order and stick to the questions which are asked by the officer. You will only make matters worse by arguing or challenging the officer. There may be an in-car and in-custody police video which your lawyer can obtain by demanding discovery. The video may also that a client was cooperative, able to perform field sobriety tests and capable of following instructions. An experienced drunk driving attorney will argue that this type of conduct is more consistent with sobriety, not intoxication or foolishness.
We Recommend that You Request a Second Test, Especially if the Test Results are Close
If you fail to take a breath test or other chemical test, the police may obtain a search warrant for your blood. You should understand that you also face suspension of your license if you refuse the chemical test offered by the police pursuant to Michigan’s Implied Consent Law. In addition, you forfeit your right to obtain a second test of your own choice when you refuse the test which is offered by the police. I would implore anyone who has a very low result (.07% to .11%), or anyone whose tests on the low end of the Super Drunk range (.17% to .19%), to request a second test such as a blood test. Your second test may be lower which may justify a lesser charge.
Let Your Attorney Know If You Have Any Witnesses That Can Testify to Your Sobriety
We hope that our clients can produce witnesses who can testify that our client was not intoxicated prior to operating a motor vehicle. I have used witnesses with personal knowledge at trial to contest intoxication or to request a reduction in the charge especially in low BAC cases. At our initial consultation, we may ask for our client to provide written statements from persons that were companions of our client on the date of the incident. A witness may include friends that were at the bar or at a party with our client that can testify that our client was acting sober and coherent. A witness may also include the passenger(s) of our client’s motor vehicle that can attest to our client’s safe driving.
Begin Substance Abuse Counseling Before Your First Court Date
Many of our clients are asked to begin counseling and/or attend AA meetings if they have a substance abuse problem or are charged with high BAC Drinking and Driving cases which have come to be known as the Super Drunk Driving cases.