Attorney Shaun R. Marks Compares Michigan’s Drunk Driving Laws to Those Across the
According to Michigan drunk driving attorney Shaun R. Marks, Michigan’s laws are neither the harshest nor the most lenient in the nation.
“Make sure you understand the state of Michigan’s laws and penalties for drunk driving,” says Marks, “and, if you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or with a related offense, seek legal counsel immediately.”
State laws vary in their use of increased penalties for drivers with a particularly high blood alcohol content. Although all states prohibit driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, most also impose greater penalties if a driver’s BAC is above a set, higher limit. Only two states have no increased penalties for higher BAC. The states that do vary the level they set from 0.10 to 0.20. In Michigan, the higher BAC threshold is 0.17 and is part of the state’s “super-drunk” driving law.
Some states suspend driver’s licenses for first-time drunk-driving offenses, and some do not. The state of Michigan imposes an administrative license suspension on defendants who refuse to submit to a chemical test for BAC. Other states impose driver’s license suspensions on first time offenders for seven days to six months, and a few states do not impose suspensions on first time offenders.
In a number of states, ignition interlock devices are mandated for those convicted of drunk driving. Ignition interlocks test a person’s BAC and do not permit a motor vehicle to operate if the driver has been drinking. In Michigan, ignition interlocks are mandatory for “super-drunk” offenses. Other states make the devices mandatory for all convictions, for repeat offenders only or at the discretion of each judge.
Finally, there are differences in what states may do with the vehicles of people convicted of drunk driving. Along with slightly more than half the 50 states, Michigan permits the immobilization or confiscation of a person’s vehicle under certain circumstances. Twenty-one states have no such provision.