Those arrested in Michigan for DUI can now be charged with extreme drunk driving as a result of the new “super drunk” law, which goes into effect on October 31, 2010.
Currently, in order to be charged with drunk driving, the arresting officer and prosecutor must prove you were driving illegally with a BAC (bodily alcohol content) over 0.08%. However, a new enhanced extreme drunk driving charge is applicable when a Michigan driver’s BAC is over 0.16%.
Many other states already have extreme DUI laws on the books, and these states include Arizona. This is why Edmonton Oiler Nikolai Khabibulin was apparently charged with extreme drunk driving recently in Scottsdale, Arizona when it was found that his BAC was greater than 0.15%. The arresting officer had first witnessed him speeding excessively, 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. Khabibulin’s BAC at the time of arrest surpassed the enhanced DUI limit of .15%. The misdemeanor charge could be punishable by up to 6 months in jail.
Beginning October 31st, 2010, the Michigan “super drunk” law will go into effect. Those found driving under the influence with a BAC of .17% or higher will be charged with extreme drunk driving. Only those first-time high-BAC offenders will have enhanced punitive and license sanctions. Second- and subsequent-offenders sanctions will remain unchanged, regardless of their BAC level. The punishment for these offenders is already more extreme than those first-time offenders found with a high BAC level. The only common punishment for all offenders is one-year of alcohol rehabilitation. First time non-super drunk drivers will be exempt from this one year treatment requirement.
Additionally, for Michigan super drunks, the Michigan Secretary of State will enforce a one-year driver’s license suspension immediately following the high-BAC drunk driving charge. After the first 45 days, it will be reduced to a restricted driver’s license but only if the offender agrees to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle. He or she must additionally pay for the installation and the monthly upkeep charges, which can get very costly. Jail time will increase to anywhere between 93 and 180 days, and monetary fines will range from $200 to $700.
Similar to all drunk-driving cases, a criminal charge can have implications on your career. Nikolai Khabibulin, who plays for a Canadian team, can be charged with a felony in the United States, although he has only been charged with a misdemeanor DUI conviction.
The Barone Defense Firm specializes in defending only those accused of drunk driving in the state of Michigan. Our attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about Michigan’s drunk driving laws, including the new “super drunk” law.