Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving law went into effect on October 31, 2010. The new law creates a new drunk driving charge (OWI/DUI) for those individuals whose breath, blood or urine content is 0.17 or higher. The new offense changes the maximum penalty for a first time offender from 93 days in jail to 180 days in jail. Community service is raised to a maximum of 360 hours and the potential fine has nearly doubled. Many people don’t realize that for a first offense OWI in Michigan, alcohol therapy was not required as part of the defendant’s sentence. In some cases, a person may just make a serious mistake and not necessarily have an alcohol dependence or problem. With the new Super Drunk Driving law, a minimum of one year of alcohol rehabilitation treatment is required.
The Michigan Department of State (Secretary of State) will impose some serious sanctions as well. Under the previous law, a first time offender would get a restricted license to drive to and from work and other necessary destinations. Under the new law, there is a 45 day hard suspension (no restrictions possible) and that is followed by 320 days of restricted license. The defendant’s car will have to be equipped with a breath interlock device as well.
This past St. Patrick’s Day, the Michigan State Police arrested 101 people for suspected drunk driving. Of the total, 34 of the suspects tested at 0.17 or above and will likely be facing Super Drunk Driving charges.