A new Michigan law will now leave drunk driving offenders hammered with greater fines.
Effective Oct. 31, 2010, Michigan’s new “super drunk” law is the result of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s approval of Senate Bill 1134 and House Bill 4289.
Signed into law Jan. 9, 2009, the bill amends various sections of the Michigan Vehicle Code.
According to the new law, drivers with a bodily alcohol level (BAC) of 0.17 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters per blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, will be required to have one year of alcohol rehabilitation and a one year license suspension.
The first 45 days of the suspension will be considered a “hard” suspension. This removes all driving privileges. The remaining 320 days allow the offender restricted driving privileges with the addition of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) placed on their vehicle. The offender will be required to pay for the installation of the BAIID as well as monthly maintenance fees.
The new “super drunk” law will also increase drunk driving fines to $200-$700. There can also be an increase in potential jail time from 93 days to as many as 180 days.
Violation of the imposed driving restrictions with a BAC of 0.025 or higher will result in a doubling of the initial penalties.
Ferris junior Kevin Tran said students who choose to drive drunk are risking their lives and the lives of the people around them.
“We’re young and full of potential, and some teens are wasting it by drinking and driving,” said Tran.
Having been involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, Tran said he is fortunate no one was injured.
“It was one of the scariest moments of my life,” said Tran.
According to DPS’ annual crime statistics report, liquor law violations at Ferris have decreased the last four years. Assistant Director of Public Safety James Cook said the reduction in violations is partly due to DPS officers educating the campus community.
“People are becoming aware of alcohol issues as a whole,” said Cook. “People are being more responsible.”
Cook said people need to know that drunk driving accidents affect the lives of everyone involved.
“It will leave lasting scars for the victim, and the family on both sides,” said Cook. “A careless moment can leave a lasting scar on your life forever.” n