Across the United States, it is illegal for a person to drive a vehicle if his or her blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more. The number of DUI related fatal accidents in Michigan and California and differ vastly. Is this due to the difference in population or due to the difference in DUI laws?
According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, 1,768 persons were killed in DUI related accidents in 2010. For the same year, the Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audits shows that 357 persons were killed in DUI related accidents in Michigan.
Michigan DUI Laws
Under Michigan law, the permitted blood alcohol concentration for those over 21 years of age is 0.08 percent. For drivers less than 21 years old, the permitted blood alcohol concentration is 0.02 percent. Michigan law provides for enhanced penalties for drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.17 percent or more. Drivers in Michigan who exhibit signs of impairment can be arrested even if their blood alcohol concentration is within the permitted level. A conviction, even if it is the first offense will result in a mandatory driver's license suspension of six months.
California DUI Laws
In California, the law presumes that the person's blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 percent or more if the chemical test conducted within three hours of the DUI stop indicate a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. For drivers of commercial vehicles, the permitted blood alcohol concentration is 0.04 percent. The law prohibits the driving of a vehicle by anyone who is addicted to drug use. A DUI arrest in California will result in an automatic suspension of the driver's license. This is an administrative proceeding and is independent of the DUI court proceedings.
Does Population Influence DUI Law Effectiveness?
California has a population of over 38 million while the population of Michigan is a little over 9 million. The numbers indicate that more people in California are likely to die from a fatal DUI accident than people in Michigan. This however does not mean that the California DUI laws are less effective. The population of California is much higher than that of Michigan. As such, the DUI laws of both states are equally effective. The higher number of fatal DUI accidents in California does not render the DUI laws in that state less effective.
Michigan drunk driving lawyers at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. represent injury victims against drunk drivers and the establishment that served the alcohol throughout the state of Michigan. Motorists and pedestrians injured by Michigan drunk and intoxicated drivers have legal rights against the negligent driver and often also against the bar, restaurant, or establishment that served the drunk driver the alcohol that caused the intoxication. Victims of drunk driving accidents do have legal rights and should pursue them immediately after the accident. In cases involving a drunk driver, it is essential to begin the investigation as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a drunk driving accident you need to speak to an experienced drunk driving lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. at (800) 606-1717. Our attorneys and investigators will start working on your case immediately and begin gathering the witness statements and evidence to prove and win your case.