What Is At Stake In A Drunk Driving Arrest

If you have been charged with super drunk driving, it is critical to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. These are very serious charges. If you are convicted, your life could dramatically change. You could lose your license, go to jail, and face other serious penalties.

I am attorney Julie Hlywa, and as an Eastpointe drunk driving arrest lawyer, I understand what is at stake if you have been charged with super drunk driving. I will work aggressively on your behalf, helping you seek the most favorable outcome possible. Contact my law office today to make sure you have legal representation after your drunk driving arrest.

Increased Penalties For Drunk Driving.

Michigan statute (MCL 257.625) provides for increasing the penalties and fines for alcohol-related driving offenses, including "super drunk" driving. If your blood alcohol is over .17, you are considered "super drunk." So-called "standard" drunk driving applies to anyone operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of .08 up to .17.

What You Could Lose With A Super Drunk Driving Conviction

The penalties for super drunk driving are:

  • A one-year license suspension for first-time "super drunks"
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to $700 in fines
  • Mandatory "interlock" device use and treatment program

Michigan law features the longest alcohol rehabilitation treatment requirement on the books; one year. Penalties for multiple convictions are not affected as those penalties remain very high (i.e. one-year in jail or a prison sentence for third-time offenders). Once on probation under the law, there is a significant therapeutic component to the statute; up to one-year alcohol rehabilitation treatment at the judge's (and probation's) discretion.

The Ignition Interlock Device

Notice of all "super drunk" driving convictions is sent to the secretary of state. The driver's license is then suspended for one year. The driver can petition for an interlock following successful completion of a 45-day "hard suspension". A "hard suspension" is no driving at all. The ignition interlock device can cost $70-$150 to install and between $80 and $120 per month to monitor, depending on the model and vendor. The interlock devices approved by the secretary of state are also approved in the United States Code; the administrative regulations for federal laws. If an interlocked probation driver either: drives with more than .025 BAC, the law provides for a double-penalty relative to the driving restrictions. The secretary of state will initiate an additional one-year suspension. Penalties for violation of the crimes statute include vehicle immobilization and paying the costs for same.

Vehicle Immobilization

If a convicted "super drunk" driver subsequently operates a non-interlocked vehicle, that vehicle becomes an "offending vehicle" and is subject to impoundment and immobilization. In addition to a potential violation faced by the probationary driver, the vehicle owner is liable for costs of impounding and immobilizing the vehicle.

Required Treatment Under The "Super Drunk" Driving Law

The super drunk driving law also features a one-year alcohol rehabilitation and treatment component. This is the longest such provision in the Motor Vehicle Code, and on the books in general. The precise nature of the treatment is up to the judge and the probation officer to determine. Treatment could include a variety of in-patient and intensive out-patient programs; Alcoholics Anonymous participation; and weekend alcohol awareness programs. This flexibility is consistent with the underlying philosophy of the now-pervasive but ever budget-dependent "sobriety court" programs.

Get The Most Favorable Outcome

If you are seeking experienced and aggressive criminal defense after your drunk driving arrest, contact me today to arrange a free consultation. I will explain your legal options and help you seek the most favorable outcome possible. Call The Law Offices of Julie A. Hlywa at 586-415-0093.

"You have provided me with excellent service and I will use you for all my legal needs." — Paul S., February 29, 2008