Driving under the influence is dangerous, and there is every chance that at such times, your judgment is impaired and you are likely to cause accidents that can injure you and others and severely damage property. Each state in the United States has its own laws for DUI and those in Michigan are as stringent or more so than other states. The inhabitants of this state use their vehicles to drive over a 100 million miles every year, and this huge amount of time spent on the road does make it more likely to cause accidents if people drive while they are drunk. Michigan drunk driving statistics indicate that at least 5 injuries are caused every year, by drunk driving for every 100 miles of roads. Property damage per year also is over $500 for every 10,000 people.
Under Michigan laws, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs leads it to be considered a misdemeanor when drivers are apprehended for the first or second time. It however, becomes a felony, when a driver commits the third such offense. The Blood Alcohol Content or BAC allowable for drivers is 0.08%. However commercial drivers have even less leeway and cannot exceed 0,04%. Minors under 21 are scrutinized even more stringently and will become offenders under the law, if their BAC exceeds 0.02%. Under Michigan laws, a driver has implied consent once he or she has been awarded a license to drive, and thus cannot refuse to be chemically tested for BAC.
First offenders under this law can be fined amounts up to $500, with even higher fines for higher BAC (over 0.17). They can face up to 93 days in jail and have their license suspended for 6 months. In addition the vehicle of the offender is fixed with an ignition interlocking device, which will allow the driver with the suspended license to drive 30 days after the suspension. This device is a breath analyzer that has to be used before starting the vehicle. The ignition gets automatically locked if BAC is high. First offenders also have to do 360 hours of community service and have 6 points added to their driving record. The vehicle then needs to carry SR-22 insurance, which is far more expensive than normal auto insurance. The fines, prison sentences and license revocation are more stringent for second time offenders. License plates can be confiscated and vehicles immobilized for up to 6 months. A third offense becomes a felony and jail terms can be as high as 5 years. Vehicles can even be forfeited. The classification of the offense as a felony can make life difficult for the offender when applying for jobs or asking for credit or other facilities. If you find yourself facing criminal charges in Michigan, visit The Clark Law Office – Lansing Criminal Defense Lawyers, for more information.
All the above laws are for those driving under the influence of alcohol. But if such imbibing of alcohol causes visual impairment, the laws under this classification of offense are even more stringent. Michigan drunk driving statistics point to fatalities, every year, in their hundreds, for accidents caused by such drunk drivers. While the majority of accidents are caused by those who have exceeded the allowable BAC, the same statistics also indicate fatalities caused by those who have their judgment impaired by alcohol, even though they are well within the allowable BAC.