Michigan’s Super Drunk Law Second and Third Offense Penalties

Michigan is one of the toughest states that deal with drunk driving violations, mainly because of the implementation in recent years of what is commonly called the “super drunk law”. The law was implemented in late 2010 and added a new dimension to getting caught with a high BAC. If you have been charged under Michigan’s Super Drunk Law, you and your attorney will soon know the penalties you soon will be faced with. Let’s take a quick look at the law and the possible effects it can have on a criminal defense.

BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)

Michigan’s BAC level for drunk driving is typical of most states. If you have a BAC of .08 or higher you are legally drunk in the state of Michigan. If you are under 21, that level goes down to .02 or higher. Anyone pulled over and blowing a BAC of these numbers is considered OWI – operating while intoxicated. Michigan’s Super Drunk Law puts your case in a more grave definition. Blow a BAC of .17 or higher and you can be charged under Michigan’s Super Drunk Law – a much more serious offense which carries stiffer penalties.

Conviction Consequences of the Super Drunk Law

The varying levels of intoxication come with different punishments under this law. A BAC under .17 but over .10 could cost a minimum of a $500 fine, and up to 93 days in prison. It can also add 6 points to your driving record, and come with up to 360 hours of community service and up to 6 months of driver’s license suspension. And that’s just for the first offense!.

A conviction will typically result in a mandatory treatment program for alcohol abuse as well.

In most case, you will be eligible to get your driver’s license back after 45 days, but only if you are willing to adhere to an ignition interlock device that is installed in your car. This device will not let you drive if it detects a BAC that is in the danger zone. You will need to pay to have the device installed and maintained however. If you are stopped driving a vehicle that is not your own, the authorities can confiscate and destroy your license plates and supply you with temporary plates instead. Yes, this does apply even if you do not own the car you are stopped driving.

Additional Penalties

Your criminal defense attorney should be prepared to defend against additional penalties that you could face if you are caught driving under the influence on multiple occasions or if you are involved in an accident while drunk.
Breathalyzer Refusal Penalties

If you do not agree to take a breathalyzer test on the scene when pulled over, you could face additional penalties as well. The first refusal may result in a civil infraction, which typically is a fine up to $150 after court fees. In addition, you could lose your license for up to a year. Refusing to take a breathalyzer more than once within 7 years could result in losing your license for up to two years.

The best advice is to find an experienced and proven DUI criminal defense attorney that knows the ins and outs of the law so that he/she can help minimize the penalties you face when faced with a drunk driving conviction, and especially a conviction under Michigan’s super drunk law.

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