Source: Sherman Publications

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Super drunk law

by David Fleet

April 11, 2012

Atlas Twp.-On Monday night the township board of trustees is expected to deliberate super drunk ordinance language that would allow local prosecution of "super drunks and retain a portion of the fines levied against offenders."

"You're twice the limit—the super drunk kicks in," said Genesee County Undersheriff Chris Swanson. "We've been doing that since the law went into effect in 2010. Now drunks are going to be prosecuted under a local ordinance, not state law. There will be more for the township now."

The super drunk law, enacted in 2010, provides tougher penalties to drivers who have a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.17 percent, just over double the legal limit of 0.08 percent. The driver faces up to 180 days in jail and $200 to $700 in fines if convicted, compared to up to 93 days in jail and fines ranging from $100 to $500 for someone who is not super drunk.

"While there's no data yet on the super drunk law, I believe in my heart it's a deterrent," said Swanson. "It's a massive hit in many ways to drunk drivers. If the stories get out there about how rough the super drunk law is and it stops one driver from getting behind the wheel then it's successful."

The Atlas Townhship Board of Trustees meet at 7 p.m., April 16.