Late last year Michigan passed a law amping up the penalties for a high “blood alcohol content” or high “BAC”. Informally this is known as the “Super Drunk Law”.

The difference between regular drunk driving and Super drunk is that super drunk carries with it a serious increase in penalties if found guilty. Before the Super drunk law, the drunk driving penalties on the first offense were:

  • a maximum of 93 days in jail,
  • a maximum fine of $500.00 (with a minimum of $100.00), and
  • a suspended driver’s license for 180 days (with the ability to get a restricted license after 30 days)

In order to qualify for super drunk, your blood alcohol content is at least 0.17. The legal limit for driving is still 0.08. Super drunk only applies when your blood alcohol is more than twice the legal limit.

If you qualify for super drunk the penalties are now amped up to:

  • a maximum of 180 days in jail,
  • a maximum fine of $700.00 (with a minimum of $200.00),
  • a suspended driver’s license for 365 days with absolutely no driving privileges for the first 45 days. After the initial 45 day hard suspension, a restricted license can be granted if you put a breath alcohol ignition interlock (sometimes commonly referred to as a breathalyzer) on your car.
  • You will also be required to undergo one full year of alcohol treatment.

If you choose to have the interlock put on your car, then you have to pay for it. The monthly maintenance can cost you nearly $100.00 and that’s not counting the cost of the device itself or its installation cost.

Now that you know what happens if you get saddled with super drunk, how do you know if you have been charged with super drunk? Sometimes the arresting officer will write it on your ticket. Where the ticket lists offenses it will read “High BAC” or “OWI High BAC”. However, even if your ticket didn’t charge it, and you blew a 0.17 or higher, the prosecutor still has the option of charging you with super drunk.

If you have been charged under the super drunk law, then you can contact Coltrane & Nye for consultation and representation.


Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Roscommon, Grayling, Saginaw, and the surrounding area.

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