Articles Posted in Driver’s License Penalties

The last two articles about Michigan OWI expungement addressed how to determine if you are eligible for expungement and provided an overview of the procedures that must be followed to obtain an OWI expungement. In both articles we explained why its important for you to seek the advice and assistance of a Michigan Expungement Lawyer.  In this article we will explain some of the benefits and limitations of an OWI expungement.

What does expungement actually mean?

An OWI expungement will remove the conviction from your criminal record, and in most respects, the expungement allow you to proceed in your affairs as though you had never been convicted.  For example, with some limitations that are beyond the scope of this article, a successful OWI expungement will allow you to avoid having to answer “yes” when asked about prior convictions on job and school applications. Again, with some limitations, a successful OWI expungement will also prevent the OWI conviction from showing up on a background check.  and background questionnaires.  Consequently, a successful OWI expungement will close out that chapter of your past and give you a fresh new start.

A Michigan implied consent hearing is an informal hearing where the officer that arrested you for drunk driving provides testimony to prove that you unreasonably refused a breath blood or urine test. Before we move on with a further discussion of the hearing, let’s review the concept of implied consent, and how it applies in a Michigan drunk driving case.

The Legal Fiction of Implied Consent

Both the Michigan and the United States Constitutions provide that the police can’t search you, your home or your car without a warrant. Thus, before the police may proceed with a search of your breath, blood or urine, they must first obtain a warrant. However, there are many exceptions to this warrant requirement and consent is one of them.  This is where the legal fiction of implied consent comes into play.

Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving law went into effect on October 31, 2010.  It created enhanced punitive and driver license sanctions for Michigan drunk drivers with a Bodily Alcohol Content (BAC) of .17 or above. It only applies to first offense drunk driving as penalties and driver license sanctions for second or subsequent offenses remain unchanged and more punitive than for super drunk driving. This is true even for repeat offenders with BACs at or above .17.

What are the Penalties for a High BAC Super Drunk Driving in Michigan?

Michigan drivers found or pleading guilty to a High BAC super drunk driving face an array of serious punishments and consequences, including potentially more time in jail and less time on the road.

The Superbowl has dominated the recent headlines, but an unfortunate story involving one of the Chiefs’ coaches, and the son of Head Coach Andy Reid, has also captured national attention.  Britt Reid was involved in a car accident wherein two young children were injured including one who is listed in serious life-threatening condition with a brain injury.

According to some initial Reports, the coach was driving onto an on-ramp and struck a disabled vehicle and then collided into a car that was providing assistance.  The accident resulted in the two minor children being seriously injured.

Mr. Reid admitted to drinking 2-3 alcoholic drinks prior to the accident, and a police report and warrant indicated a moderate odor of alcoholic beverages.  If there is evidence that alcohol may have been involved, then it is common that a warrant for a blood draw will be obtained.

Immediately upon your arrest for DUI in Michigan the arresting officer notified the Secretary of State. This happens when the arresting officer destroys your plastic license and prepares a DI-177, which is entitled “Breath Blood or Urine Report Michigan Temporary Driving Permit.”  This document becomes your paper license and you will use it to drive until you are convicted or until your case is dismissed.  A DI-177 is only prepared if you agree to take a breath or blood test when asked by the arresting officer.

If you refused to submit to a breath or blood test then the officer will prepare a DI-93, which is entitled “Report of Refusal.” This too becomes your paper license but is only good for 14 days or until after you win your appeal hearing. Because you are not allowed to refuse a breath or blood test your license will be suspended for a year unless your Michigan DUI lawyer demands a hearing within this 14-day period.

Both the DI-93 and the DI-177 are filed with the State of State, and your driving record will reflect this fact.  This means that even before you are convicted of anything in Michigan your driving record will reflect that you have been arrested under the suspicion of drunk driving. All of this applies for any kind of intoxicated driving including driving under the influence of marijuana.

How to Prepare for Your Michigan Implied Consent Hearing

Michigan drivers suspected of intoxicated driving based on the consumption of alcohol, marijuana, or other intoxicating substances, must submit a breath, blood or urine sample upon the reasonable request of a peace officer.  A failure to provide such a sample will result in the police obtaining a warrant for your blood.  You will also be charged with an OWI along with a separate charge for an alleged violation of Michigan’s implied consent law.  This will result in the police destroying your Michigan driver’s license.  The officer will then issue you a 625g paper permit, also called a DI-93, and this will allow you to drive temporarily.

You have a right to appeal the police officer’s determination that you violated the implied consent law, and such appeals go before the Administrative Hearings Section of the Michigan Secretary of State. You or your attorney must mail the request for this appeal hearing within 14 days of the date of arrest. A failure to do so will result in your driving privileges being automatically suspended for at least one year.

According to the Michigan Implied Consent Law, there are only four issues to be resolved at the appeal hearing:

Criminal and Driver License Enhancement in Second Offense Drunk Driving Cases

If you have been charged with a second offense drunk driving case in Michigan, then you are probably wondering about how severely you will be punished.  The type of punishment will be based on both criminal enhancement and driver license enhancement.  Before discussing these differences, the first thing to know is about the two is that the judge will decide your punishment whereas the Michigan Secretary of State will decide your driver license sanction.

With that in mind, let’s first look at criminal enhancement.  The Michigan look-back period for second offense drunk driving is 7-years.  This means that a new DUI arrest occurring within 7- years after a prior DUI will be considered a second offense drunk driving.  The look-back period for criminal enhancement runs from date of conviction to date of arrest.

In this context enhanced means, the statute provides for the possibility of more jail time.  For example, for a first offense DUI the maximum jail time is 93 days with no minimum period of incarceration.  However, in the case of a second offense drunk driving, Michigan Compiled Laws § 257.625 provides as follows:

Michigan DUI/OWI Driver’s License Penalties

In a Michigan drunk driving case the driver license penalty will be based on the severity and nature of the offense, and your prior record.  These driver license penalties are not imposed by the judge. The driver license sanctions are imposed by the Secretary of State, who will learn of the conviction from the court clerk where your case is pending.

Licensing actions for an intoxicated driving conviction range from having your driving privileges restricted, suspended or revoked. Revocations are reserved for the most serious offenses, including second offense drunk driving, and range from one year to five years. There’s no guarantee that the license will be returned after the revocation term is complete.  After the revocation is imposed it will be as if you were never licensed, and to re-obtain driving privileges, you will need to apply through the Michigan driver appeal and assessment division. Revocation is defined as the termination of your driver’s license.

The next most serious sanction is suspension, which is temporary. After the suspension period is complete, your driver’s license will be returned after you apply for a new license at the Secretary of State and pay a reinstatement fee.  There is no driving of any kind allowed during the suspension period.

I refused the test, now what happens?

Michigan’s implied consent law requires that you take a breath blood or urine test upon the lawful request of a police officer.  If you refuse, then you will be charged with an implied consent law violation, and will face possible license suspension for one year.  Six points will also be added to your driving record.  If you have a prior refusal in the past 7 years then your license will be suspended for two years.

The best way to know if you’re being charged with an implied consent violation is by looking at your paper license.  It will either be a DI-177 or a DI-93.  If it’s a refusal then your paper license will say “DI-93” in small letters in the upper left hand corner, and indicate on it “report of refusal.”  If your paper license does not contain this information, then you are not being charged with an implied consent violation.

Many Ohio residents travel to Michigan for business or pleasure.  While in Michigan they are sometimes arrested for DUI.  A frequent question for these Ohio drivers looking at a Michigan DUI conviction is “what will happen to my Ohio driver license?  Like so many other issues involved with a Michigan DUI conviction, this is not such an easy question to answer.   What follows are many issues and answers, and top Ohio DUI lawyer Tim Huey assisted in explaining Ohio DUI law.

Michigan’s Driver License Sanctions

The state of Michigan can only impose driver license sanctions applicable to your privilege to drive in Michigan.  Accordingly, Michigan DUI law provides that for a Michigan DUI first offense the Michigan driver license sanction would be either a 180 day suspension (for an OWI/DUI/OUIL/UBAL “intoxicated” driving) or a 90 day suspension (for an OWVI – “impaired” driving).

A Michigan intoxicated driving conviction will cause a “hard” 30 day suspension, after which you would be eligible in Michigan for a restricted license after the first 30 days.  With a Michigan conviction for impaired driving you will have a restricted license the whole time.

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