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Some Unexpected Consequences From the Super Drunk Law

Since the holiday season usually brings about added celebrations, it is worth reviewing the Super Drunk Law and some consequences you may not be aware of.

By:  Lori T. Williams, Owner/Managing Attorney of Your Legal Resource, PLLC

Since the holiday season usually brings about added celebrations, and for some lonely and difficult times, I think it is worth reviewing the Super Drunk Law and heeding a “drink responsibly” message.

I previously featured a blog on the Super Drunk Law, which you can read here.

However, I wanted to share some additional information gleaned from one of my recent clients.  She is a loyal employee who worked at a bar for over two decades, as their bookkeeper.  She was never one to drink and drive, or consume excessive amounts of Alcohol.  However, one time, she consumed (4) 12 ounce Jack and Cokes, drove her car, and as a result faced a drunk driving charge.  She accepted responsibility for her actions and complied with the installation of the breathalyzer machine in her car.  This machine, known as an ignition interlock device, cost her $80 per month, plus court costs of $2,000 and legal fees of $1,500.  

Once the machine was installed in her car, she had to blow into it every time before starting her car. Sometimes it indicated false positives for blood alcohol, such as when she ate an Arby’s Sandwich and a Jamocha Shake and the machine showed .07 blood alcohol, when no alcohol had been consumed.  Another time, she received a warning letter in the mail that the reading on the breathalyzer machine reflected an alcohol level of .25. She knew she had not consumed any alcohol for months prior to that date, and definitely had not been drinking and driving for over a year. Was it equipment error?  Did someone else drive her car that did have excessive blood alcohol content? The facts are still being sorted out, but the bottom line is she will have to drive with the interlock device in her car for another year, at a cost of $960 per year.

This prolonged sentence and additional cost was an unintended consequence for my client.  She did the right thing after her conviction by following the Super Drunk Law and the terms of her sentence. Yet the way the law stands right now, the results of the ignition interlock device aren’t appealable, even when there appears to be machine error or some other reason for the blood alcohol reading. All she can do is continue to comply and hope that there aren’t any additional errors or violations for the next year.

Please drink responsibly, for your sake and for those around you.  The consequences for doing otherwise could range from unintended inconvenience, added cost, loss of license, jail time, physical injury, or a loss of life.

For additional information about the Super Drunk Law, click here.

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Lori T. Williams is a 23 year attorney based in Birmingham, MI. She owns a legal referral and legal consulting business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC. She assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation by connecting them with the right legal specialist for their situation. She also provides consulting services for attorneys and other professional service providers on how to generate more business through effective branding, marketing, networking, and by creating strategic partnerships. For more information, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lori T. Williams December 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM
This article link is on point with this blog topic. Check it out and see how many drinks affect alcohol levels, and what the potential legal consequences are. http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/with-new-years-approaching-how-many-drinks-will-get-you-a-dui?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
Kwame January 02, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Easy solution: Dont drink and drive! I am tired of offenders complaining about the consequences.

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