Drug Law

War on "Super Drunks" in Michigan

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Michigan has declared war on "Super Drunks," and so far the state appears to be winning.

The Detroit News reports that in October 2010 a law went into effect for stiffer penalties for people who are pulled over for drunk driving and test at least double the legal limit of .08.

"These aren't people who just had a glass or two of wine at dinner or a party — these are people with alarmingly high blood-alcohol counts, some in the high 0.20s and even into the 0.30s, out drunk in the middle of the day," said Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper.

So far some 3,000 drivers have been taken off of the road thanks to the new penalties, which include a one-year license suspension, a maximum jail sentence of 93 days to 180 days and higher fines of up to $700.

Also, after they get their licenses back, they also must use an ignition device for a year that requires drivers to blow into it, and if there is any presence of alcohol the car will not start.

These "Super Drunks" are a potentially fatal hazard on the road; it is not uncommon for someone with such a high blood-alcohol level to simply black out. Others, though, somehow function.

"Some of them apparently have a high tolerance for alcohol to even remain conscious," Cooper said. "But it doesn't take away from them being seriously intoxicated and posing a threat to themselves and everyone else on the road."