While DUI deaths and arrests have decreased over the past couple of years, penalties have increased in Michigan, meaning those who are convicted on charges of driving under the influence face harsher consequences. In 2011, over 37,000 arrests were made related to motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. This was down about 20% from the nearly 46,000 recorded by state police in 2010.
In October of 2010, a new Michigan law was enforced that means “super” stiff fines and penalties for those who test at 0.17 or higher blood alcohol content levels. Because of the new law, those who are considered “super drunk” and who are first-time offenders may face fines that range in the thousands. Other penalties that apply include mandatory alcohol treatment, increased jail time and 45 days during which you cannot drive. Even to have your driving rights reinstated after the 45 day time period, you must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
In Michigan, 0.08 is still the benchmark for being considered legally drunk. The “super drunk” law does not apply to repeat offenders or individuals who face felony charges due to causing injury, damage or death as a result of drunk driving.
While it is clear that the number of DUI arrests has dropped since 2010, law enforcement agencies across Michigan are still highly concerned about the number of motorists who get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. While statistically the numbers are decreasing, Utica Police Chief Dave Faber stated in a news report that he doesn’t see the number of arrests coming down at all. In fact, Faber said that in 2011, each of his 13 officers recorded 15 DUI arrests on average.
Regardless of the statistics, Michigan criminal defense attorneys know that the penalties those convicted on charges of DUI face are extremely severe. Such penalties will negatively impact various areas of your life, including your career and driving privileges. Whether you are a first-time offender or have been arrested previously on charges of driving under the influence, it is critical that you seek the legal guidance and support of a trusted Michigan criminal defense lawyer.