On October 31, 2010, Michigan enacted two public acts which have commonly been referred to as the “super drunk” laws. In modifying sections of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code, legislators have added new language to the definition of impaired driving to include drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or more.
Drivers that are charged and convicted under the new drunk driving definition will experience harsher penalties and have severe restrictions placed against their licenses. Additionally, those convicted under either measure will be required to undergo one year of alcohol rehabilitation in the form of a sanctioned treatment program. These changes only apply to first time transgressions, and the current punishments for repeat offenders remain unchanged.
If you have been charged with driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or more, we recommend that you retain experienced counsel to aid in the defense of this charge. We know the law and can help you understand your rights and develop defenses to charges levied against you. To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.
Additional Fines, License Suspensions and Imprisonment
Under the new law, jail sentences are increased from 93 days to 180 days, and fines are raised from $200 to $700 for first time offenders. Driver’s license suspension sanctions are also more punitive under the new provisions. Upon conviction, the offender’s license is automatically suspended for one year. During the first 45 days of the suspension there is absolutely no driving allowed under any circumstances. The remaining 320 days of the suspension can be appealed, and may result in the Secretary of State granting restricted driving privileges.
Remember, judges have a tremendous amount of discretion when imposing your punishment. Without us, or another competent attorney, you may say or do the wrong thing, increasing your punishment. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were violated is particularly helpful. That said, we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair. For more information about fleeing the scene of accident, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Michigan Super Drunk Law / High BAC Criminal Defense
Ignition Interlock Device Requirements
After the initial 45 day mandatory driver’s license suspension period, the offender is required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in their vehicle at their own expense. Only approved devices that appear on the 1992 Federal Register for conforming products meet the proper specifications. Installing and maintaining a BAIID device is the responsibility of the driver, and fees can be as high as $100 per month.
BAIID equipment requires the driver to submit a blood alcohol reading prior to starting the vehicle. During longer trips, submitting a breath sample is mandated for every two hours of continuous driving. Any reading in excess of .025 will render the vehicle inoperable, and the data is automatically reported to a monitoring agency. Any violation of the .025 blood alcohol limit can result in a doubling of the previously imposed penalties.
The Impact of the New Law
While the effects of the new law in terms of improving driver safety remain unclear, it has not been established whether prosecutors will continue to offer a plea bargain option that will reduce the charges to the lesser offense of impaired driving. Any driving impairment charge is serious, and it is important to seek of the services of a qualified attorney who will explain available options and potential outcomes.
Why hire us? Michigan Super Drunk Law / High BAC Criminal Defense
Charges of driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or more are complicated, and it is essential for anyone charged with a crime that falls within this classification to immediately seek out the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney. The outcome of every case will ultimately be determined on its own merits, but obtaining legal representation early in the process will help assure a more favorable outcome. One of the greatest advantages of hiring our firm is the connections we bring to the process. Typically we know the prosecutor and the judge, allowing us to anticipate the judge’s reactions, understand how the prosecutor will want to proceed, and to negotiate the best deal for our clients in efforts of removing as much uncertainty from the process as possible. For this reason, looking for an attorney who practices in the county where you were charged is particularly helpful. That said we regularly practice in the counties of Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, and Lapeer, Livingston, Washtenaw, Genesee, and St. Clair.
Let us help you navigate the Court system’s rough waters and keep you out of jail. For more information about driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 and other criminal Misdemeanors, and/or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Michigan Super Drunk Law / High BAC Criminal Defense