In 2010 the state of Michigan passed the so called “super drunk” law which imposes higher penalties for persons arrested having a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher. Under the state-imposed “super drunk” law, first-time offenders would face a higher potential maximum jail sentence, have their license suspended for one year, with the possibility of obtaining a restricted license dependent upon the installation of an “ignition interlock” device, pay higher fines and be required to participate in a one-year alcohol treatment program
As criminal defense attorneys, we expected to see a number of our clients charged under the super drunk statute. However, absent compelling circumstances, the vast majority of our clients continued to be charged under the original drunk driving statute despite their blood alcohol content. The reason for this is that charging drivers under the “super drunk” statute results in a loss of revenue for local municipalities because they are filed through the state, prosecuted by state prosecutors and the higher fines are paid to the state. To get around this, drivers eligible for prosecution under the state “super drunk” statute are prosecuted under the original statute, prosecuted by city attorneys with fines paid to the local municipalities. Those with a blood alcohol content of at least .17 were not hit with enhanced penalties.</p> <p>Last year the state legislature decided to allow municipalities pursue “super drunk” drivers at the local level provided the city has its own “super drunk” ordinance. In response, a number of municipalities began passing ordinances allowing them to seek enhanced penalties against those convicted of being “super drunk” while allowing them to retain the enhanced fines. Among those municipalities is the City of Farmington which proposed its own “super drunk” ordinance at the October 7th city council meeting. A vote on the adoption of the ordinance is expected to take place in two weeks.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for drunk driving, the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman will work diligently to guide you through the legal process and will aggressively defend you against any charges, “super drunk” or not. Call us today.