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New drunk driving law takes effect

November 03, 2010 - There's no such thing as a safe drunk driver, but there is such a thing as an extremely dangerous drink driver, said Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh.

And now, under a new state law, anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .17 or above will be considered extremely dangerous.

Effective Oct. 31, anyone caught driving with a .17 BAC or higher will face a graduated penalty schedule.

According to information from the Michigan Office of Highway Planning, anyone who operates a motor vehicle with a high BAC could be nailed down with 180 days in jail (increased from 93 days), a fine of at least $200 but not more than $700 (increased from not less than $100 but not more than $500), and a one-year license suspension with restrictions permitted after 45 days (increased from six-month license suspension with restrictions permitted after 30 days). Other penalties will stay at the same level as drivers caught with a BAC of .08 or higher: up to 360 hours community service; cost of prosecution; immobilization not exceeding 180 days allowed (same); six points on the driving record; and mandatory rehabilitation.

Narsh said, "In a good economy, you can't afford a drunk driving arrest. If nothing else makes you stop and pause before driving, consider the costs this will bring to you and your family. It's simply not worth it."

Reporter, Lake Orion Review
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