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Michigan Super Drunk Over 0.17 BAC, Laws and Penalties
Michigan's legal limit is 0.08. When drivers are more than twice the legal limit, Michigan’s super drunk driving law creates an enhanced OWI offense. This law applies to people who drive with a BAC (Bodily Alcohol Content) of .17 or above.
Super drunk charges are among the most serious OWI charges in Michigan. Drivers what are guilty of a super drunk over .17 BAC charge therefore face an array of more serious criminal penalties and consequences. These include more jail time, more time without a driver license, more community service, longer probation, and higher fines.
A super drunk offense only applies to first offense drunk driving as penalties and driver license sanctions for second or subsequent offenses remain unchanged and more punitive than for super drunk driving. This is true even for repeat offenders with BACs at or above 0.17.What are the Penalties for a High BAC Super Drunk Driving in Michigan?
Drivers convicted of super drunk high BAC face enhanced penalties. These include:
- Jail time - possible incarceration of up to 180 days in jail. This is nearly twice as long as a “traditional” or non-super drunk driving first offense, which is punishable by up to 93 days in jail.
- Fines and costs - fines are also higher. For a High BAC super drunk driving, the fine is $200.00-$700.00. Compared with a traditional first offense OWI in Michigan, which is punishable by a $100.00-$500.00 fine.
- Community service - you can also be ordered to complete up to 360 hours of community service.
- Driver license sanction - your driving privileges will be suspended by the State of Michigan for one full year. This year starts with “hard suspension” for the first 45 days. After that, a driver may engage in certain restricted driving activities for the following 320 days, but only if a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is installed on all vehicles the offender might drive. If the person drives a car without a BAIID, then their vehicle may be immobilized if they are so convicted. Finally, a conviction will result in 6 points being added to the driving record.
There are other penalties that can be ordered by the Judge. These include stricter conditions of bond and probation, a longer overall term of probation and more intensive alcohol treatment.How to Avoid the Enhanced Penalties of Super Drunk Driving
Other than avoiding the conviction, there is no way to avoid many of the more serious penalties. For example, you cannot avoid the one-year license sanction. This is because the Secretary of State imposes this suspension as soon as they learn from the Court that the conviction has occurred. After that there is no available “due process” meaning there is no opportunity to be heard as to why the one-year suspension should not be imposed.
The only way to avoid the enhanced penalties therefore is to engage an OWI defense attorney who knows the importance of zealously defending clients accused of this serious crime. Armed with a proper defense, some or all the enhanced penalties can be avoided.Will My Super Drunk 0.17 BAC Case be Reduced?
As it relates to plea negotiations, some prosecuting attorneys have policies that will not allow a super drunk case to be reduced, meaning there is no plea bargaining. In these cases, if no motions are available or successful, the client must either plead guilty as charged or stand trial.
The decision of whether to go to trial is one that only a client can make after a thorough evaluation and examination of the case by their attorney. Our article entitled Should I Take my Drunk Driving Case to Trial or Just Plead Guilty will help you make this decision.
In some cases, if there is no plea bargain offered then a trial will make sense either because the client cannot endure the harsh penalties, or when a defense exists. For example, a High BAC OWI is based 100% on the breath or blood test.
If there is any reason to believe that the breath test is flawed, that it is inaccurate or unreliable, then a trial may make sense. There are many possible defenses to a High BAC OWI, and these should be discussed with your attorney.Will I Go to Jail if I’m Convicted of High BAC Super Drunk Driving?
The answer to this question can only be determined after a person’s case and prior record have been evaluated. The court/judge before which the case is pending will also make a big difference. Winning motions, winning at trial, or engaging in meaningful plea negotiations can also be a factor in whether a person goes to jail, and for how long.
If you are facing a High BAC super drunk driving charge in Michigan, contact the Top DUI lawyers at the Barone Defense. We will explain how we can help you obtain the best possible result. Be sure to ask for your free no obligation case review.Additional Consequences of a Super Drunk Conviction in Michigan
Judges don't look very favorably upon drivers who are convicted of a super drunk offense in Michigan. For this reason, the penalties you're likely to receive may be more severe than if you're able to plead down to a normal DUI/OWI offense. The additional consequences of a super drunk conviction include:
- A longer probationary period
- Mandatory jail time of up to 6 months
- Needing to keep a BAIID on your vehicle for at least one year
- Court-ordered alcohol treatment programs for up to 1 year
The penalties for a super drunk driving conviction are much more severe than a typical DUI/OWI conviction. In addition to incurring more significant fines, you could spend up to 180 days in jail and be required to operate a vehicle while under supervision for a long time. An experienced OWI defense attorney can help you reduce the impact of your drunk driving offense on your future.
Our drunk driving defense attorneys can review your case and let you know how to ensure you get the best possible result. This can save you money on fines and help you back win back your life.