Most people have had one drink too many on more than one occasion. There is a fine line, however, between a couple of beers and being “super drunk.”
There is a good reason the state implemented the ‘Super Drunk’ law. In a review of statistics, most fatal accidents in Michigan relating to alcohol-impaired driving involved people with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.15% or over. Therefore the state thought it necessary for a higher BAC law.
The repercussions of being super drunk are more severe
If charged with operating while intoxicated — that is, BAC is at least 0.08 — the regular fine is $500. However, under the Michigan “Super Drunk” driving law, if the police arrest you and find that your BAC is 0.17, or higher, the fine is $700. You could also serve a maximum of 180 days in jail, and your license will be restricted or suspended for up to a year.
Drivers caught violating the enhanced OWI law will also need to use an ignition interlock device after the mandatory 45 days of license suspension. They will have restricted driving privileges as well. Finally, punishment will be more severe if it is not your first time being charged with any OWI.
Just because the test says you were super drunk doesn’t mean you are
Not all breath alcohol tests and field sobriety tests are accurate. It is important to be aware of your options and rights and if the charges against you or someone you know are valid.