‘Superdrunk’ law in Michigan may be model for Maine

As reported in the Bangor Daily News on December 5, 2010, (full article text here) the coming session of Maine’s legislature is expected to take up discussion of Maine’s law against operating under the influence.

Recently in Michigan what is known as a “superdrunk” law took effect. The law increases the penalties for first-time offenders driving while more than twice the legal limit (currently 0.08 in Maine), or at a blood alcohol content of 0.17 or more. According to the report,

“[i]n 2009 there were 8,203 OUI arrests in Maine, according to the secretary of state’s office. That is nearly one arrest an hour every day all year. There were 1,496 arrests with drivers with over 0.19 percent blood alcohol content and 452 with over 0.25 percent blood alcohol content”.

Some arguments supporting the change are that at those levels of intoxication, a person should have no doubt that they are over the legal limit. “Superdrunk” drivers may also be that much more likely to injure themselves or someone else.

However, some representatives have expressed doubt that increasing the penalties will result in the deterrent effect hoped for. They also are looking for evidence that “superdrunk” drivers in fact cause more harm than those who have blood alcohol content of between 0.08 and 0.16. An increase in the penalties will necessarily increase the cost to the pubic of enforcing the new rules and therefore the benefits must be carefully weighed.

If you have been injured by a drunk driver and have questions, contact the team at Peter Thompson and Associates. We have handled thousands of similar claims and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. For a consultation call 1-800-917-1784 or read more on our website, www.Peter-Thompson-Associates.com, on our car accident practice page.

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