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New Michigan Drunk Driving Law Aims to Save Lives of the Innocent

Drunk drivers should take notice. Beginning on Halloween Sunday, those driving under the influence of a blood-alcohol concentration of .17 or higher will face approximately double the current punishment under Michigan law.

The new legislation taking effect on October 31 will increase punishment to those who reach the "high blood-alcohol content" classification in the following ways:

  • Potential sentence of 180 days in jail, up from a 93-day limit.
  • Violators may receive a one-year license suspension, previously a six-month maximum.
  • Fine ranges of $200-$700, increasing from $100-$500.

Michigan has joined many other states that raise the penalty for impaired drivers who greatly exceed the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08. The law's intent is to deter severely impaired motorists from driving, while keeping the violators off the roads for a longer time after their offense.

Michigan's Drunk Driving Epidemic

Drunk driving remains a serious problem in Michigan. While many people safely enjoy themselves on fun occasions such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, far too many decide to take the wheel in an impaired state.

According to the 2009 Michigan Drunk Driving Audit, Over 6,200 were injured from alcohol-related crashes in our state last year, claiming 351 lives. Even as Michigan police step up enforcement, drunk drivers will continue to wreck lives by inflicting severe injuries and death upon their victims.

While the criminal justice system works to prosecute these offenders, civil lawsuits also work to both punish the wrongdoers and compensate the victims and their families.

A personal injury suit or wrongful death claim can help injured persons and survivors recover monetary damages for the harm the drunk driver caused. Michigan's dramshop liability law can also hold bars liable for the harm a drunk driver causes if they served that person while he or she was visibly intoxicated.

Source: Michigan.gov

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