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Proposed Legislation Would Allow Local Municipalities to Prosecute “Super Drunks”

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Nichole J. Derks
Foster Swift Municipal Law News
November 2011

Michigan’s "Super Drunk" Law took effect October 31, 2010. This law provides increased penalties for operating a vehicle while "super drunk" – defined as having a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 or higher. The penalties for violating the "Super Drunk" Law include prison for up to 180 days and fines between $200.00 and $700.00.

Recently, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee approved a package of bills (House Bills 4920-24) that would allow cities, townships, and villages to enforce the 2010 Super Drunk Law. Remember, the current enabling statutes that allow municipal prosecutions do not authorize cities, townships, or villages to enforce the 2010 Super Drunk Law.

The 2011 package of bills is on its way to the House floor. If they are enacted in their current form, then cities, townships, and villages could prosecute a greater number of Operating While Intoxicated cases and enforce the steeper penalties – rather than referring those cases to their respective county prosecuting authority. But even under the package of bills, cities, townships, and villages could not enforce any other crimes where the maximum possible penalty exceeds 93 days in jail. We will monitor this package of bills and update you as appropriate.

Should you have any questions about the 2010 Super Drunk Law, the 2011 bill package described above, or municipal prosecutions, please contact Ms. Derks at 517-371-8245 or nderks@fosterswift.com.