Higher Blood Alcohol Content May Result in More Serious Drunk Driving Charges
“Drivers whose blood alcohol content is alleged to be 0.08 or higher may still be charged with drunk driving, but when a driver’s blood alcohol content is measured at 0.17 or higher, then so-called “super-drunk” driving charges apply,” explains Shaun R. Marks, a Flint drunk driving attorney.
One Troy police officer was recently charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a BAC greater than 0.17. The police officer was off duty when she was arrested in January at a traffic stop. Police officers saw a pickup truck hit the median curb twice and pulled the vehicle over. According to police reports, officers detected a strong odor of alcohol in the vehicle. The driver refused a Breathalyzer test and was arrested for drunk driving. A warrant for a blood sample was obtained, and the results allegedly indicated a blood alcohol content of 0.27 percent.
The high BAC led to charges of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.17, otherwise known as “super-drunk” driving. Her bond was set at $1,000.
The arraignment was delayed while Troy’s district judges decided whether or not to recuse themselves (claim to be unqualified for judgment) to avoid any potential conflict of interest that could arise because the defendant is a local police officer. To avoid such a conflict of interest, the case was transferred to a different district court.
Blood sample testing also takes time, but Troy police said that the investigation was completed in an “expeditious” manner to demonstrate that the accused was not treated differently because she is a police officer. In cases in which a driver refuses a Breathalyzer test, police must obtain a warrant for a blood sample and transport the person to a hospital for the sample to be taken. Samples are sent to the Michigan State Police for analysis. Results can take weeks to obtain, but in this case, results were obtained in five days, police said.
The defendant is 34 years old and a 12-year veteran police officer. She has been placed on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation continues.