What’s being called the law of “Super Drunks” went into effect in October of 2010 and has since accounted for thousands of OWI arrests in the metro area. The law was created to deliver particularly harsh penalties to those people who weren’t just over the legal limit, but were dramatically over the limit, making them “super” drunk.
Since the law took effect, an average of six people every day have been convicted under it in the state, about 3,000 in all.
The law doles out harsher penalties to those people whose blood alcohol content is more than twice the legal limit. But frequently, prosecutors find that those who are more than twice over the legal limit, are three and even four times over it.
The legal blood alcohol limit is .08. If you are caught driving with that much alcohol in your system, you will be arrested for OWI. But, if you are caught with more than .16, you will face tougher penalties.
Many people being prosecuted under the “Super Drunk” law have been found behind the wheel with blood alcohol levels well into the .20s and .30s, making them at risk of blacking out or requiring hospitalization.
According to The Detroit News, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office deems these cases so serious and so potentially dangerous, that they require a hospital emergency room clearance when anyone is arrested with a blood alcohol level of .30 or greater.
First time offenders prosecuted under the “Super Drunk” law will face one year driver’s license suspension, 93 to 180 days in jail, fines of up to $700 and a one year mandatory ignition interlock device. This is in contrast to a “regular” OWI conviction, which carries up to 93 days in jail, 180 day suspended license and up to $500 in fines.
However, because those penalties in particular are targeted at first-time offenders, the defendant can often walk away with more lenient penalties.
While the law intended to penalize those known as “Super Drunks” goes further than the standard OWI laws, MADD doesn’t believe it goes far enough. “Drunk driving is .08 and this still leaves a gap between that and .17. But the law is a step in the right direction,” said executive director Sherry McGee.
McGee apparently doesn’t believe the existing OWI laws are strict enough, though it’s questionable whether any drunk driving law would be strict enough for MADD.
When you are arrested for drunk driving, you can expect to face harsh penalties. This is especially true if your blood alcohol content is elevated more than twice the legal limit or if you have prior convictions.
Contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help you avoid the worst penalties.