Attorney Shaun R. Marks Warns of Enhanced Penalties for High Blood Alcohol Content
“A drunk driving conviction with a BAC below 0.17, with no prior convictions in the past seven years, carries a maximum of 93 days in jail,” says Marks, who handles DUI cases. “However, a case with a BAC of 0.17 or higher brings a maximum of 180 days in jail.”
Other penalties are enhanced for drunk driving convictions that involve unusually high blood alcohol content. A first offense with a BAC below 0.17 can carry with it a license suspension of up to 180 days. With a BAC of 0.17 or higher, that suspension can last for up to one year. The enhanced penalties may also include mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program.
The enhanced penalties for high BAC are also known as Michigan’s “super drunk” driving law.
The law is the source of one of the charges against a 19-year-old Ypsilanti woman, who police say was driving with a high blood alcohol content and bit the arm of an arresting officer. Police claimed that the young woman lost control of her car and crashed it. The driver faces a string of charges, including operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content higher than 0.17. She has also been charged with two counts of resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer, driving with a suspended license, malicious destruction of property and possession of marijuana.
Drivers with a prior conviction from the past seven years also face enhanced penalties, which are even higher than those for high blood alcohol content.
Marks, who is not involved with the Ypsilanti case, said that drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive with any bodily alcohol content. A person under the age of 21 who is alleged to be driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or higher may be charged under Michigan’s zero tolerance law, unless the alcohol was consumed as part of a recognized religious event.
“A drunk driving conviction can compromise a person’s driving privileges and create a criminal record, which can jeopardize present and future employment,” says Marks. “Anyone charged with drunk driving, whether under enhanced penalties for high blood alcohol content or not, should contact an attorney experienced in handling drunk driving cases.”