One of the most common operating while intoxicated charges we see in Oakland County courts is the charge of operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content, commonly known as superdrunk driving. The basics of this charge are that the prosecutor must show that the defendant has a blood alcohol level of a .17 bac or higher. This can be proven both with a breath test and a blood draw.
The superdrunk driving law was put on the books a few years ago and carries with it more severe penalties than a normal drunk driving case. Specifically, the defendant is looking at a possible sentence of 180 days in jail, a 45 day hard license suspension, a 10 1/2 month long restricted license where the individual can only drive with an interlock device, and various other mandatory requirements. What makes superdrunk driving such a difficult charge is that in certain Oakland County courts, like the 48th District, a first time offender is possibly looking at serving the entire 180 days.
The major problem in litigating a high bac drunk driving case is that for the most part, the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office handles these types of cases. What that means is that for most people charged with superdrunk driving, there is no chance of a reduction to a lesser charge as the Oakland County Prosecutor does not like to make deals in these cases. The only solution is to conduct jury trials, of which we have had all sorts of victories defending high bac cases.
The State Legislature recently enacted a law which allows cities and townships to enact their own high bac laws, which is actually good for citizens in Oakland County because most city and township prosecutors are willing to reduce these cases to avoid trials, thus saving people from the terrible interlock sanction.