High BAC (Super-Drunk) Cases in Metro-Detroit
Back in October of 2010, there was a change made to the State’s DUIlLaws by creating a new, enhanced DUI offense for anyone whose breath or blood test score (BAC) was .17 or above. Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this "High BAC,"or "Super-Drunk" Charge, let’s be clear about one thing - this is a charge to be avoided at all costs. As a Detroit DUI defense attorney, my job is to find a way out of this nightmare. “High BAC” charges can only be made in a 1st offense case. If a person has had a prior DUI conviction within 7 years of the date of the arrest on the new charge, then they CANNOT be charged with this enhanced offense.High BAC cases are Misdemeanors that can most often only be charged under state law, and, as a result, the Fines assessed in such cases go right to the state, rather than to the city (or township or village) where the case arises. Over the last several years, local jurisdictions begin enacting their own "OWI Enhanced" ordinances to get in on the financial rewards. Until that has been done in the municipality of your arrest, a High BAC case can only be charged under state law. Whether brought by the state or a local municipality, more than a few people have called the whole DUI process a “cash cow,” and you cannot sit in any courtroom very long and disagree with that.
Without its own ordinance, a High BAC case cannot be handled by the municipal prosecutor, and must instead be handled by the County’s prosecuting attorney, who represents the state. As a result, all Fines imposed in a High BAC case get paid over to the State. The Michigan State Police website sets out the major details of this law. Some of the most relevant are summarized below, with the enhanced penalties of the High BAC Law that differ from a garden-variety DUI being highlighted in bold:
Up to 180 days in jail (increased from 93 days)
Fine of $200 but not more than $700 (increased from $100 but not more than$500)
One year license suspension with restrictions permitted after 45 days (increased from six-month license suspension with restrictions permitted after 30 days.
Up to 360 hours community service (same)
Cost of prosecution (same)
Immobilization not exceeding 180 days allowed (same)
6 points on the driving record (same)
Mandatory alcohol treatment program or self-help program for a period of not less than one year.
Following a mandatory 45-day license suspension, a person may drive after a breath alcohol ignition interlock device has been installed on their vehicle.
Perhaps the worst part about getting a 1st Offense DUI with a BAC of .17 or above is that you may not know, as you are released from jail the next morning, if you have, or will be charged with the enhanced offense. Thus, a ticket written of “Operating While Intoxicated” can still result in a High BAC charge being made thereafter. Whatever the circumstances, if you have been arrested in the Detroit- area for a DUI charge, then you need to search around for a qualified DUI lawyer (like me) with whom they feel comfortable, and who they can trust to produce the best outcome humanly and legally possible. As I noted at the outset of this section, a High BAC charge is one to be avoided at all costs. If you hire me as your Detroit DUI attorney, I will do everything legally possible to get you out of it.