Welcome back and thanks for joining us for the wrap up of this chat about Michigan’s drunk driving history. We’ve looked at a few interesting facts so far regarding to invention of the breathalyser (called a drunkometer when it was first created) and the fact that DUIs were once considered a ‘rite of passage’ for young men, and hardly penalized at all despite harsh laws. Moving on we’d like to look at a few more interesting historical DUI facts from the Great Lakes state.
“But I wasn’t weaving, or driving in the oncoming lane!”
In the 1970’s, states across the U.S. started changing their laws to what is called a “per se” law. “Per se” laws in DUI cases establish that once someone is proved to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or higher, that person will be considered intoxicated by law. Why does this matter? Because prosecutors no longer needed to prove that a driver was affected by the alcohol they consumed, only that they had consumed more than the law allowed for driving.
These laws are still in place today here in Michigan, and anyone pulled over with a BAC of .08 or higher is considered to be too drunk to drive. Even if you have a high tolerance to alcohol, or were showing no signs whatsoever of intoxication, if the Datamaster reading comes back higher than the legal limit, you’re considered to be a drunk driver!
“That arrest was years ago! I shouldn’t keep being punished!”
In 1980 Candy Lightner’s 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver while walking home from a school carnival. It was soon discovered that the driver had three previous DUI convictions, and was out on bail from a hit and run at the time of the crash. In response to that event, Lightner founded MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers, and the organization immediately began lobbying for stricter laws in all 50 states.
MADD assessed the OWI laws across the country, including Michigan’s, and decided that very few states were sufficiently harsh on repeat offenders. They began lobbying for changes. Here in Michigan, it used to be that if there was 10 years between convictions, the most recent charge didn’t count as a repeat charge. But in 2007, then-governor Granholm signed Public Act 564, otherwise known as Heidi’s Law. This changed the law so that it makes no difference when a person is convicted of a DUI, if you have two other drunk driving convictions on your record, all subsequent charges will be felonies!
DUI charges can be very serious in Michigan!
Being arrested for drunk driving, whether it’s in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton or Oakland County, can mean some pretty serious consequences for your future. That’s why you need to call the aggressive DUI defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm. We’ve been defending people all over Michigan’s peninsula for decades and we’re extremely good at it! Need help with a Michigan DUI? Just call 866 766 5245 (866 7No Jail). We’re here 24/7 to help.