Michigan man charged with DWI after police chase

On Dec. 20, a 53-year-old man was arraigned on felony charges under Michigan's "super drunk" law for allegedly leading police on a chase through Ann Arbor in August. He struck another vehicle before being apprehended by police.

According to authorities, a witness called 911 to report a suspected drunk driver after observing the defendant strike a curb near Hoover and South State Street shortly before 10:30 p.m. Responding officers reportedly tried to get the man to pull over, but they claim he continued driving south at approximately 30 mph, which is below the street's posted speed limit.

The defendant eventually collided with a vehicle stopped at a red light near East Eisenhower Parkway, causing his car to end up on the road's center dividing island. He attempted to drive away, but his car was disabled by the crash, and he was taken into custody by police. The driver of the car he struck suffered minor injuries.

Police said a breath test showed the defendant's blood alcohol content level was .23 percent, which is nearly three times the legal limit of .08 percent. He was charged with felony DWI with a blood alcohol content at or above .17 percent and with felony fleeing and eluding police. He was released from custody on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 6.

Those charged under Michigan's "super drunk" law, which applies to drivers with a BAC at or above .17 percent, may face much harsher penalties than those facing regular DWI charges. Maximum jail time, fines and length of license suspension for such a conviction may be longer than a traditional drunk driving conviction. However, depending on the specifics of a case, an attorney may be able to dispute the evidence against a defendant or negotiate with prosecutors for more lenient terms.

Source: MLive, " 'Super drunk' driver accused of leading police on chase in Ann Arbor", John Counts, December 20, 2014