More to Know About: Drunk Driving
Drunk driving is sometimes called driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI). Typically, this involves operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of at least 0.08 percent. However, Utah is the one exception to this standard, with a strict 0.05 BAC limit.
According to Michigan law, an OWI can be charged when an impaired person puts the vehicle in a position posing a significant risk of causing a collision (i.e. if the engine is on and if the vehicle is in gear). While this typically involves driving your car on the road, you can also get an OWI charge simply by sitting in a parked car.
Drunk Driving Statistics
- Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. That is one death every 50 minutes.
- In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44 billion that year.
- In 2017, deaths related to alcohol-impaired driving in Michigan shot up from 244 the previous year to 311 – a 22-percent rise.
Mandatory DUI Classes
Michigan calls its mandatory DUI classes “Alcohol Highway Safety Classes.” Anyone charged with substance use, related traffic offense may be required to obtain an alcohol screening or substance abuse evaluation, or participate in awareness classes. Offenses that may require
assessments and/or classes include:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)
- Operating with an Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content (UBAC)
- Impaired Driving
- Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle
- Person Under 21 purchase/consume/possess/transport Alcohol
- Use of Fraudulent ID to Purchase Liquor
- Person deemed a Habitual Alcohol Offender
The first level is approximately 8 hours of classes. In Michigan, you can search assessment and
class providers by county.
Alcoholism Hotlines/Support Groups
It can be difficult to know when alcohol abuse is serious enough to call a hotline or locate help.
A few indicators that you may need to seek help include:
- You have alcohol cravings that are hard to fight on your own
- Drinking causes problems in your life, but you don’t know if you should stop
- You feel more depressed or anxious after drinking
- Drinking alcohol is one of your top priorities
- You’ve experienced alcohol poisoning or overdose
- You’ve been arrested for driving drunk before
Below are free, reputable 24/7 alcoholism hotlines awaiting your call:
24/7 Help at (877) 589-4784
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
DrugRehab.com Alcoholism Treatment Line
Starfish Family Services (Headquarters)
Inkster, MI 48141
Information on Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
As you may know, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a nonprofit organization with the stated purpose of enabling its members to “stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.” Founded in 1935, AA is nonprofessional, self-supporting and apolitical. There are no age or
education requirements. The only membership requirement? To have a desire to stop drinking.
“Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous” is a book made popular by AA when it first published in 1939. This group of principles has since helped millions of men and women recover from alcoholism. The AA program is rooted in the Twelve Steps and its principles. Here is a typical AA meeting agenda:
1. AA Members share their experience with anyone seeking help with a drinking problem; they give person-to-person service (“sponsorship”) to the alcoholic coming to AA from any source.
2. The AA program offers alcoholics a way to develop a satisfying life without alcohol.
3. This program is discussed at AA group meetings, which encompass open speaker meetings, open discussion meetings, closed discussion meetings, step meetings (usually closed) and correctional/treatment facility meetings.
To find your local AA chapter, search this national directory provided by AA >>
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