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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Drunk Driving Blood Alcohol Lowered for Snomobiles & Boats

We have seen the drunk driving laws get tougher over the past two decades. The legal blood alcohol level, easily measured by law enforcement with the advent of modern toxicology devices, has been lowered while enforcement has been a top priority with judges and local police.

Consistent with that legal trajectory, Governor Snyder signed a bi-partisan bill into law yesterday that lowers the legal blood alcohol for drivers of snomobiles, boats, and other recreational vehicles from 0.1 grams of alcohol per every deciliter of blood to .08 grams, finally bringing the BAC into line with vehicles.

Note: since 2013, the NTSB has been howling for states to lower the legal BAC for operation of a vehicle, boat or other moving device to .05 grams. For most of us, that's two beers.

So beware Jobbi Nooner boaters next summer on Lake St. Clair; if your captain has more than a few drinks, it could be the drunk tank for the afternoon. Well, perhaps that is as it should be.

We here at the Law Blogger are mindful that it is not illegal to drink alcohol and drive; it's just illegal to operate a vehicle, or now a boat or snomobile, with a BAC over .08. The challenge for us all is knowing when you are approaching the limit; not everyone uses the same level of discretion and common sense after a drink or two.

This new law will not come into play tonight here in Southeast Michigan where, thanks to El Nino, there is no snow cover and the lakes remain unfrozen and unusable for snomobiles. Up North, however, is a different story.

As always, the best policy if you plan to drink while celebrating New Year's Eve is to utilize a "designated driver". So Happy New Year and be safe out there tonight.

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Blogger Pazzta Tali said...

Beware, sometimes a prosecutor knowing your attorney can be a negative. Some DUI attorney Los Angeles have a reputation for taking a plea deal and not going to trial, and it is unlikely the prosecutor will give them an offer that contemplates the case going to trial.

January 9, 2015 at 6:22 AM 

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