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March Madness, spring break and the Super Drunk Law

Spring is a season most college students—and alums—look forward to. For students, there is spring break. For every basketball fan of every age, there is March Madness.

Exciting spring events often include drinking, but drinking and driving do not mix. You could easily run afoul of Michigan’s Super Drunk Law.

What it is

The state of Michigan focuses on keeping drunk drivers off the road, especially repeat offenders. In 2014, representatives passed a bill that raised the penalties for recidivism. The legislator who sponsored the Super Drunk bill noted that repeat offenders are “four times as likely to get into a fatal crash than unimpaired drivers.”

A look at the penalties

The Super Drunk bill increases penalties for drivers whose test results show a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.17 percent or higher, which is more than twice the legal limit. A conviction includes up to 180 days in jail, a fine of $700 and probation of up to two years. A conviction also includes mandatory alcohol treatment for one year plus a restricted license accompanied by the installation of an ignition interlock device.

How the IID works

An ignition interlock device is basically a computer with a mouthpiece. About the size of a mobile phone, the device will be positioned near your dashboard and attaches to your ignition. After you blow into the mouthpiece, and if your BAC is at an acceptable level according to set parameters, your vehicle will start. There will be random retests as you drive to ensure that you have not brought any alcohol along or stopped for a drink along the way. The IID will be your responsibility; you must take it to an authorized location every few weeks for maintenance.

Time to seek help

If you have a Super Drunk conviction, six points will also go onto your driving record. This kind of mark can be a problem when, for example, you apply for graduate school or interview for a new job. Everyone from school administrators to landlords to employers performs background checks and a DUI/DWI will not work in your favor. Consider your legal options and do not let Super Drunk status ruin your enjoyment of spring break or the Final Four.

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