Criminal Defense Law Center
West Michigan

Michigan Super Drunk Driving

Michigan Super Drunk Driving
Defense Attorneys

In October of 2010, the Michigan legislature decided that if a driver’s had BAC of .17 or higher, the possible punishments that could be handed out by a judge needed to be increased. The higher a person’s BAC, the more they are under the influence and the greater risk to public safety. 

The law was called the “High Alcohol Enhanced Penalty Law.”  This law only impacted first time DUI offenders that had a BAC reading of over 0.17. 

The law is more commonly referred to as Michigan’s super drunk driving law. The maximum punishments for the super drunk driving law are about twice as much as a first offense OWI. If this is your second arrest for operating while intoxicated, within the last seven years, you can not be charged with the high (BAC) OWI.  

Instead, you will be charged with a second offense DUI. A second offense OWI conviction carries penalties that are greatly enhanced when compared to a first offense drunk driving conviction.  For example, after a second offense conviction, a person will face up to one year in jail instead of a possible 93 days in the slammer.

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Michigan's Super Drunk Driving Penalties

Michigan’s super drunk driving law will only apply to you if your BAC is over twice the legal limit of .08. Anyone charged with a high BAC DUI has a huge amount of alcohol in their system. Modern science informs us that one single unit of alcohol in a typical person’s system can raise the BAC level of an average human being roughly .025 percent. This means that at a .17 BAC, a person is driving on the road in Michigan with around six to eight servings of alcohol in their body. Factors that determine how high a person’s BAC is include body build, weight, various health conditions and the person’s gender.

The law requires anyone convicted of a high bac drunk driving charge to face the following penalties:

  • Maximum 180 days jail time
  • 45 days driver’s license suspension
  • 320 days of restricted driving after license suspension period
  • Six points on your driver’s license record
  • Fines of $200 to $700
  • Court costs from $500 to $1000
  • Maximum 360 hours of community service
  • Installation of ignition interlock device for 320 days
  • Possible attendance at alcohol treatment program
Michigans super drunk driving law is tough

Michigan’s 320 Day Restricted License Period​

Once a person convicted of operating a vehicle with a BAC of over .17 of high has completed their 45-day suspension of their driver’s license, the offender will be given a restricted license for 320 days.  One of the conditions of this restricted license means having a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) put into the vehicle you will be driving during this restricted time period. When a person has a restricted license there are major limits to where a person can legally drive to. A person is only allowed to drive to the following places when they have a restricted license:

  • To and from school, probation and community service
  • To your place of employment and back your residence and from employment.
  • Drive a vehicle for your work
  • To and from medical treatments for a serious condition. Going to get your teeth cleaned is not a serious condition.
  • Attendance to any alcohol or drug education treatment and educational programs.

Once a (BAIID) is installed into your vehicle, you must provide a sample before you can start up your automobile. You will also be required to provide a sample at certain other points while you are on the road. The device records the BAC. If you are over a certain limit, you will not be allowed to drive.

Other Consequences of a High BAC OWI

As if the penalties for this serious drunk driving charge were not enough, there are other tough consequences you will be facing.

Consequences To Your Insurance Premiums & Driving Record

I know several people who work in the insurance industry. Your automobile insurance rates will skyrocket under this conviction! You will be paying potentially thousands of dollars more for coverage of your car or truck. There will also be times where you may not be able to get insurance! If you have no insurance, you are not allowed to drive legally on any road in Michigan. If your job requires you to drive while on the job, most companies will not allow you to do so anymore. This can cause a high BAC offender to be fired from their place of employment. You will also have a permanent criminal conviction on your record.  

Your criminal record will show a conviction which may significantly hinder your ability to gain access to employment opportunities or retain a professional license. If you are having financial problems and get convicted of this high back OWI, you will have to pay for the full cost for installing the BAIID. On top of the huge installation fees, you will have to pay a monthly fee for the service. The average range for these fees is 50 dollars on the low end and as high as 100 dollars on the high end. This can cause serious stress to those who are living paycheck to paycheck.

Super Drunk Driving Stats

In the state of Michigan, drunk driving is considered a very serious crime. In 2018, there was a total of 9,786 traffic crashes that had one or more of the drivers being under the influence of alcohol. If a person has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08, and they get caught by Michigan law enforcement, the person will be charged with operating while intoxicated. Drunk driving crashes caused 315 fatalities in 2018. These numbers are up over 11 percent from 2017.

Defending Super Drunk Driving Offenses

Getting a super drunk offense charge in the state of Michigan is extremely serious. Thankfully, there are tactics that can be used to successfully challenge this charge in all West Michigan courts.

If you hire Shawn Haff, here’s what he will do to ensure you get the best possible outcome:

  • He will investigate filing motions before you case goes to trial.
  • We can examine carefully the way the field sobriety tests were administered.
  • We will examine the facts of your case to see if statements you made to the police officer can be admitted in court.
  • We will examine your case closely to see if there was probable cause to stop you while driving.
  • The facts of your case will be viewed to see if there is an error in the blood results that can result in this evidence being found inadmissible in court.
  • The accuracy if the data master results can also be checked.

At the Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan, we are dedicated attorneys who will stop at nothing to get our clients the best results possible. We do this by providing our customers with amazing customer service and clever and legally sound tactics designed to get our clients the best results possible on their case. If you hire Shawn Haff or one of his talented lawyers, you know that you are putting yourself in a great position possible to get you the best results possible on your super high (BAC) DUI.  We represent people who have been charged for all kinds of drunk driving related offenses in Michigan such as OWI, DUI, OWVI and felony drunk driving charges.

We understand deeply and emotionally how frightening facing a super drunk offense really is! We know you are concerned about your freedom, your job and your driving privileges. Our highly trusted and respect criminal defense firm will handle your unique case with a personal approach and a strategy designed just for your case!

During the handling of your case, we will always and quickly answer every single question you may have during this trying time in your life. We will address your concerns head on with a straightforward answer. We will not sugar coat things and not give you false hope by promising things are not likely to happen in your case. At each and every step of your case, arraignment, motions, pretrial conferences, trial, sentencing, will keep you fully informed. Our guiding hand will be there for you always and even after your case is over, we will always be happy to answer any other questions you may have down the road.

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Criminal Defense Law Center West Michigan

Attorney Shawn Haff
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