I read an article on mlive.com regarding the arrest of drivers considered "super drunk" in 2011. While the total number of drunken-driving arrests dropped dramatically, the number of drivers who "super drunk" is going up. A person is considered to be "super drunk" if her or she had a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher. According to the article, 44% of those arrested for drunken driving in 2011 had a blood alcohol contact that would classify them as "super drunk" as compared with 40.5% in 2006.
Apparently, law enforcement officials attribute the rise to a reduction in police patrols as well as the increase in technology. With fewer cars on the road, officers must dedicate the majority of their time to responding to calls and do not have the time to patrol for drunk drivers. Of course, those with a BAC of .17 or higher are often very obviously drunk and driving in a dangerous manner which requires action by the police. Technology's role in nabbing "super drunks" stems from widespread cell phone use. Drivers are quick to call and report a weaving driver or to photograph the license plate of a driver who is suspected to be drunk. You can read about the rise in "super drunk" arrests at: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/are_super_drunks_on_the_increa.html
First-time offenders convicted under the "super drunk" law face having their license suspended for one year, 45-days of which all driving privileges will be suspended. Thereafter, a person may apply for a restricted license for the remainder of the year provided, that the person installs an "ignition interlock" device at his/her own expense. The previous law required only 30-days hard suspension and no "ignition interlock" device. Under the "super drunk" law, the maximum potential jail sentence increases from 93-days to 180-days, higher fines will be imposed and all offenders will have to participate in a one-year alcohol treatment program.
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