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Driver detained under Michigan's "super drunk" law

Authorities say a 26-year-old male driver was highly intoxicated when he struck a power pole and then left the accident scene on Nov. 4. The man from Elmwood Township was taken into custody after a witness provided a description of his vehicle to sheriff's deputies. The driver was charged with having a blood alcohol content in excess of .17 percent at the time of the accident, which, under Michigan's DUI law, exposes him to harsher penalties if convicted on the charge.

Law enforcement officers responded to a call of a power pole being clipped by a white Cadillac at the intersection of East Hoxie and South Solon Roads in Leelanau County shortly after 4 p.m. Following the crash, the vehicle reportedly continue south on Solon Road to East Traverse Highway, and was later located outside an East Traverse business with rear-end damage including a broken back window.

According to police, the driver admitted to his involvement in the crash. He also allegedly exhibited signs of intoxication and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. Police took the man into custody where he remained the following morning.

Under Michigan criminal law, a driver with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent is presumed intoxicated; however, a driver who is alleged to have registered a blood alcohol content in excess of .17 percent is presumed highly intoxicated, or super drunk. Such a driver is eligible for penalties of a more punitive nature, including increased potential incarceration time and fines, loss of driving privileges and greater restrictions on personal freedoms for longer periods of times.

A vigorous drunk driving defense is of paramount importance when faced with felony drunk driving charges. A careful vetting of police reports and field sobriety testing results may turn up reporting inaccuracies or failures to adhere to testing protocols that could form the basis for case dismissal or resolution on lesser charges.

Source: MLive, "'Super drunk' driver in afternoon crash flees scene, busted down the road", John Agar, November 05, 2014

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