In the last decade, a drunk driving law was added to the statutes of Michigan that highlighted a particular category of Operating While Intoxicated offense: the high BAC offense. A high BAC offense is defined as one where the suspected drunk driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .17 grams or more. The state’s baseline BAC level for drunk driving charges is .08 grams.
High BAC offenses are misdemeanors, but a conviction of such a crime can bring with it a host of serious sanctions. For example, fines for high BAC convictions can range from $200 to $700. A person convicted of such a crime may be jailed for up to 180 days. They may also lose their license to suspension for up to a year.
In some cases an individual who is convicted of a high BAC offense may petition to have their license reinstated for limited purposes. Often when such a petition is granted the individual must still install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle to prevent them from starting it if the driver cannot blow an alcohol-free breath. If a petition is granted a court may only allow the convicted party to drive to and from work, to and from doctor visits, to alcohol rehabilitation classes and to and from school.
The best way for an individual to avoid the penalties associated with high BAC offense convictions is to assess whether or not they have options to fight the charges. Some defense strategies can provide individuals with opportunities to have their cases dismissed, while others may be able to counter the claims made by prosecutors on their cases with their own facts and evidence. Speaking with a DUI defense attorney can be a responsible first step for a person facing high BAC offense charges to take in protecting their rights.