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What to know about 'super drunk' and 'persistent drunk' driving charges

Across the country, penalties for driving under the influence are severe. Many state governments have been strengthening their drunk driving laws to prevent people from driving when they’ve had too much to drink and to help protect passengers on our nation’s roads.

Above and Beyond Legal Alcohol Limits

The legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is .08 in all states except Utah, where the legal limit is .05. States outline their penalties based on your BAC, number of previous drunk driving convictions and if any fatalities, injuries or property damage occurs. In all states, the higher your BAC, the more penalties you face. 

Super Drunk Driving Charges

Michigan has a 'Super Drunk Law', which is the charge you’ll receive if you’re driving with a high BAC — which is a BAC of  0.17 or higher. While still a misdemeanor, a high BAC OWI charge, or Super Drunk OWI, in Michigan means you could face the following for a first offense:

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • $200–$700 fine
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year. Eligible for restrictions after a 45-day suspension if an ignition interlock device is installed on all vehicles you own or intend to operate
  • Possible metal license plate confiscation if you operate a vehicle without a properly installed ignition interlock device
  • Mandatory vehicle immobilization if the offense is subsequently convicted for operating a vehicle without a properly installed ignition interlock device. 

These penalties are harsher than if you have a first OWI offense with a BAC of 0.08 to less than 0.17. For a second Super Drunk OWI offense within a seven year period, the penalties are even more severe with increased fines, jail time, possible vehicle forfeiture and more. 

Persistant Drunk Driver Charges

Several states across the country have more strict penalties for drivers who are convicted of a drunk driving offense with a high BAC. For example, in Colorado, if you are convicted of a DUI and had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, you will be classified as a persistent drunk driver (PDD). PDDs are subject to more severe penalties, including increased jail time, longer license suspension, higher fines and mandatory periods of no driving.

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Charges

In New Mexico, you can be charged with an aggravated DWI if your BAC was 0.15 or higher. You’ll be subject to mandatory 48-hour incarceration in addition to increased jail time, fines and more. These penalties all have one goal in mind: preventing drunk driving.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Almost every state will require you to install an ignition interlock device if your BAC is above a certain threshold. IIDs are proven to be the most effective way to prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink, and they’re the most effective way to prevent drunk driving recidivism. Intoxalock is here to help you get back on the road.

Our 24/7 customer support representatives can answer questions about the devices and your state’s requirement while scheduling an installation appointment at an Intoxalock location near you. Call (833) 723-0200 to speak to a representative today. 


Category: Drunk Driving

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