On Sunday, August 24, 31-year-old Juan Benavidez of Hartford was arrested for driving while under the influence after he crashed his vehicle into a ditch, according to news reports at Mlive.com. The accident took place near CR 681 on 72nd Avenue at approximately 3:20 in the afternoon. An off-duty Hartford police officer called the accident in, and deputies were dispatched to the scene.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and Benavidez was the only person in his vehicle. A release issued by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office stated that Benavidez was traveling at a high rate of speed in a southbound direction when he attempted to turn east on 72nd Avenue and ended up in a ditch on the north side.
News reports indicate that Benavidez’s blood alcohol level upon being administered a breathalyzer test was more than three times the state’s legal limit of .08 percent. In Michigan, anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of higher than .17 may be charged with “super drunk” driving. In addition, because it was the defendant’s third OWI offense, he may face felony charges as a third OWI in Michigan is a felony. The criminal penalties for a super drunk offense are harsh, and include driver’s license suspension for 45 days followed by 320 days of restricted driving, up to 180 days in jail, fines, and more.
Individuals who are convicted of a third DUI offense (a felony in Michigan) may face penalties that include up to five years in prison, driver’s license revocation, and possible vehicle immobilization, along with other penalties.
Benavidez was cited not only for DUI but for not having car insurance and driving on a suspended license.
A DUI conviction will have a serious negative impact on your life. Not only will you have a criminal record and possibly lose your freedom for a time if put in jail, your reputation and career may be tarnished. Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked is one of the most serious penalties, as it is nearly impossible to live a normal life when your privilege to drive is taken away.