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New Michigan Law Permits Some Convicted of DUI to Avoid a Revoked Driver's License

05th January 2011
By Mark Langschied in Criminal Law
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Michigan has passed a new law which will allow drivers who would normally receive a revoked license to instead, obtain a restricted license if certain conditions are met. This new law is effective January 1, 2011 and is codified at MCLA 257.304.

At the present time, individuals who receive 2 or more alcohol convictions are penalized with revoked licenses. Generally, an individual who receives two Michigan DUIs or OWIs would receive a one-year revocation and an individual who receives three or more DUIs would receive a five-year revocation. Individuals that have a revoked license are not able to drive. Further, an individual with a revoked license is unable to petition the court for a restricted license. Instead, individuals have to wait until the revocation period ends and Appeal to the Driver's Assessment and Appeal Division of the Secretary of State for reinstatement of their driving privileges.

Relief under the new law
This is where the new law provides potential relief. The new law would allow a person to receive a restricted license after a 45-day suspension if the person is admitted to a DWI/sobriety court program and the person installs an ignition interlock device. Further, the judge would have to certify to the Secretary of State that both of these conditions have been met.

If given a restricted license while in a sobriety court program, one would be able to drive to and from any combination of the following locations: your home, work, school and an alcohol or drug education or treatment program ordered by the court.

In order to get an unrestricted license - the full driver's license, you would ultimately have to be approved by a hearing officer at the Drivers Assessment and Appeal Division of the Secretary of State. This would require attending a hearing (which is similar to a trial) in front of the hearing officer who would ultimately decide whether or not you will receive a full drivers license. At this hearing, you would testify, submit proofs such as treatment records, AA sign in sheets, letters of sobriety and a substance abuse evaluation in order to prove that you are sober and likely to remain that way into the future.

The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. You should consult a Michigan traffic lawyer for individual advice regarding your own situation.
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