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Michigan teen charged with drinking and driving at 104 mph

Drinking and driving is a serious problem, and the state of Michigan has imposed serious penalties to combat it. These penalties can lead to long-term consequences for Kalamazoo drivers from all walks of life, when they are charged with OWI but these consequences can be most damaging to young drivers.

Recently, police said they arrested a Michigan teen after they found him driving on the Red Arrow Highway, near Paw Paw, at speeds as high as 104 mph. Police said the 18-year-old refused to pull over and instead led deputies on a high-speed chase. Traffic congestion eventually forced the teen's car to stop.

Police took the driver into custody. Officers obtained a search warrant for his blood, as they suspected him of being drunk. Police said they found alcohol in his vehicle. The teen was charged with operating while intoxicated, possession of alcohol as a minor and eluding police. Bond has been set at $5,000 cash.

Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in every state. It may be called driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), operating a motor vehicle intoxicated (OMVI) or operating under the influence (OUI). In any case, a drinking and driving conviction can ruin one's driving record and result in jail time and hefty fees.

Michigan's OWI laws set a maximum blood alcohol content of 0.08. The state has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers. The maximum BAC allowed for underage drinkers is 0.02. It is important to know that a driver can be arrested for drinking and driving, even if his or her BAC is below these levels, if the driver exhibits signs of drunkenness. Penalties for exceeding these limits include license restriction and suspension, alcohol treatment, vehicle confiscation and installation of an ignition interlock device.

Source: Kalamazoo Gazette, "Decatur teen driving at 104 miles per hour on Red Arrow Highway arrested for drunken driving," Aaron Mueller, Sept. 26, 2012

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