You partied hard on St. Patrick’s Day and made the unfortunate decision to drive home. You were pulled over and got a DUI (in legal terms it’s referred to as an OWI – operating while intoxicated). The blood or breath test revealed your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .17 or more. What does that mean?
In 2008, the Michigan Legislature passed the “Super Drunk OWI” statute, which increases the penalty for OWIs if your BAC is .17 or higher. Normally, the criminal penalty for an OWI is up to 93 days in jail, up to $500 in fines plus costs, or both. If you are convicted of a Super Drunk OWI, however, the criminal penalty is up to 180 days in jail, up to $700 in fines plus costs, or both. This is only if it is your first OWI offense. If it is your second or third OWI offense, the penalties worsen.
The impact on your driver’s license is also worse when you’re convicted of a Super Drunk OWI rather than a regular OWI. After your conviction of a Super Drunk OWI, your license will be suspended for 45 days, after which it will be restricted for 320 days with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID).
What’s the moral of the story? If you can afford it, Uber or Lyft home. If you can’t afford it, call a friend or family member to pick you up. It’s never worth it to you or those around you to get a Super Drunk OWI.