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Michigan man charged under "super drunk" law after hit-and-run

A 24-year-old Ypsilanti, Michigan, man was arrested after allegedly causing a hit-and-run crash near his home earlier this month. According to police, the man had a gun in his car and was intoxicated, registering a .24 and .26 on alcohol content tests. The man has been charged under Michigan's "super drunk" law. His preliminary examination is scheduled to occur later this month.

Michigan enacted its "super drunk" law in 2010. The law added a new definition of drunk driving to the Michigan Vehicle Code. Although the threshold for drunk driving starts at .08 blood alcohol content in Michigan, under the new law, drivers who have a blood alcohol content of .17 or more are subject to enhanced punitive and license sanctions and will be required to undergo one year of self-help or alcohol rehabilitation.

This new law severely increases the level of punishment for many convicted of drinking and driving in the state. According to the Michigan Bar Journal, the one-year rehabilitation period is the lengthiest requirement of its type ever mandated for anyone convicted of drunk driving. Under prior law, even those convicted of felony drunk driving were not required to complete one year of treatment.

Several other provisions in the law add to the penalties applicable to those convicted under it, including an increase in potential fine and an increase in potential jail time. In addition, the "super drunk" law provides for enhanced penalties for second offense drivers who attempt to operate a vehicle equipped with a court-ordered breath interlock device with a blood alcohol of .025 or more.

Source: Annarbor.com, "'Super drunk' driver arrested with gun after hit-and-run crash," Kyle Feldscher, March 7, 2012

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