Mark Mandell, Esq. According to the Michigan State Police, law enforcement officers in 26 counties will be conducting extra patrols through the New Year to ensure motorists are driving safe and sober this holiday season. According to the Michigan State Police website, 11 people were killed in crashes on Michigan roadways; four of those crashes involved alcohol. The holidays are a very busy time for travel and officers will be making sure that everyone gets to their family gatherings safely. According to OHSP Director Michael L. Prince, "Extra officers will be out strictly enforcing drunk driving laws. Motorists need to designate a sober driver before drinking or take a cab or bus home." Not only is drunk driving extremely dangerous, but there are hefty consequences associated with drunk driving. A person is considered “over the limit” if they are operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or greater. There are enhanced penalties if an individual’s BAC is 0.17 or higher. The severity of the penalties depends on what number offense it is and the level of intoxication. The penalties include the following:
• If BAC is below .17 and it is a first offense the penalties includes up to a $500 fine and Up to 93 days in jail; • If BAC is above .17 and it is a first offense the penalties includes up to a $700 fine and 180 days in jail; • If it is a second offense within 7 years the penalties include one or more of the following: a $200 to $1000 fine and/or 5 days to 1 year in jail; • If it is a third offense within a lifetime the offense is considered a felony and the penalties include one or more of the following: a $500 to $5000 fine, 1 to 5 years imprisonment and/or probation with 30 days to 1 year in jail; • Additionally, convicted drunk drivers are subject to a $1,000 penalty for two consecutive years under the Driver Responsibility Act, for a total of $2,000 in additional costs.
There are a number of safer alternatives to drunk driving. Safer alternatives include: designating a sober driver; calling a friend; taking a cab; walking or staying over the night at a family or friend’s home.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, or have questions regarding the law, contact experienced criminal defense attorney Mark Mandell at 888-674-1189 or online at www.MichiganFraudLawyer.com.