Detroit City Councilman Scott Benson faces charges under Michigan’s super drunk driving laws in relation to his June arrest.
According to Southfield police, Benson’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.244 on June 29, when he was found hunched over the steering wheel of a city-issued Ford Crown Victoria on the southbound Southfield Freeway service drive near Eight Mile. He was released after posting a $500 bond the morning following his arrest.
Benson’s reported BAC was significantly higher than the 0.17 definition for super drunk driving, and much higher than the 0.08 cutoff for a typical drunk driving charge.
Following his arraignment, Benson faces charges of driving with a high BAC of 0.17 or higher and of having open containers of alcohol in his vehicle. The city has also taken his vehicle.
After his arrest, Benson was away from work for a week. He returned to work on July 7 and issued an apology, stating he was “ready to get back to work on behalf of the citizens of this great city and continue moving forward.”
Benson, 44, is serving his first term as City Councilman. He represents Detroit’s Third District.
Alleged super drunk driving carries significantly steeper penalties than a typical drunk driving charge. If convicted, Benson will face up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $700, 360 hours of community service work and six points on his driver’s license. In addition, Benson would be required to attend an alcohol treatment program and to use an ignition-interlock device, which measures the driver’s BAC before allowing use of the vehicle.
If you are facing super drunk driving charges, talk to an experienced drunk driving attorney right away.
Michigan State University (MSU) junior and football team receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on April 6. The arrest occurred shortly before Kings’ spring suspension.
Kings, 20, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17 or higher and with operating while intoxicated by alcohol, a controlled substance or a combination (OWI).
Both charges are misdemeanors, but driving with a BAC of 0.17 falls under Michigan’s “super drunk” driving law and is associated with higher penalties than driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, which constitutes drunk driving.
On July 7, Kings was sentenced to 13 months of probation by Judge Donald Allen in the 55th District Court in Mason. He pleaded guilty to the DUI charge in a deal to get the OWI charge dropped.
On April 15, MSU announced Kings’ suspension for the rest of the spring football season. After his suspension concluded, he joined the team for summer workouts and a preseason camp. The team opened against Jacksonville State on August 19.
While Kings is on probation, his driver’s license is suspended. He must perform seven days of community service and participate in substance abuse counseling. He is also required to abstain from alcohol and stay out of places that serve alcohol. He is subject to routine Breathalyzer or urine tests.
If you have been charged with a super drunk driving offense, talk to an experienced drunk driving attorney right away.
Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties planned a drunk driving crackdown over Labor Day weekend. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” effort ran through September 1 and featured increased patrols aimed at detecting and detaining suspected drunk drivers.
According to Michigan State Police, 10 fatalities from 9 collisions occurred over the 2013 Labor Day weekend in Michigan. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort was, in part, a response to those tragedies. Overall, drunk driving led to 354 roadway deaths last year.
People who are charged with causing death as a result of drunk driving face felony charges. Penalties include up to 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines, along with other miscellaneous penalties.
Law enforcement officials recommended that people prevent drunk driving by having a plan to get home safe, such as a designated driver, cab service or limousine.
In addition to cracking down on drunk driving, the effort also targeted seat belt and child restraint use. Law enforcement officials were also concerned about speeding and distracted driving during the busy holiday period.
If you have been charged with a drunk driving offense, talk to an experienced drunk driving attorney right away.