Michigan DUI/OWI Driver’s License Penalties

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.

If your license is restricted, then you can only drive to places allowed by law.  These restrictions are always the same for everyone and cannot be modified or changed. These standard restrictions include the ability to drive to from during your employment, any alcohol drug or treatment program ordered by the court, any court-ordered probation, community service, educational programs ordered by the court, and any regularly occurring medical treatment for you or your family.

Once you have pleaded guilty or are found guilty, then the court clerk will notify the Secretary of State, who will then check you master driving record for prior offenses. You will then be notified of the driver license sanction by the Secretary of State by mail.  The document you receive from them will indicate the exact nature of the penalty and the two/from dates.

The most common driver license sanctions will be a suspension, restriction or revocation of your driving privileges as follows:

  • First Offense OWI alcohol – Your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days, followed by license restrictions for 150 days, 6 pts, permissive BAIID.
  • First Offense OWVI alcohol – Your driver’s license will be restricted for 90 days (180 days if impaired by a controlled substance).
  • First Offense Operating with Presence of Drugs – 30-day suspension / 150 restricted, 6 pts, permissive BAIID.
  • First Offense Zero Tolerance Minor BAC – 30-day restricted, 4 pts.
  • First Offense Child Endangerment – 90 restricted, 90 suspended, 6 pts.
  • First Offense CDL under .08 – 1-year CDL suspension, 90-day operator’s suspension.
  • High BAC Super Drunk Driving BAC .17 or Above; your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year. You are eligible for restrictions after 45 days of suspension if an ignition interlock device is installed on all vehicles you own and intends to operate.
  • Intoxicated Driving Causing Death or Serious Injury – your driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 1 year (minimum of 5 years if there was a prior revocation within 7 years).
  • Second Offense OWI – 1-year revocation/denial.
  • Third Offense OWI – 1-5-year revocation/denial.

Driver license sanctions and license restoration are complex topics, and you should always consult with your attorney before pleading guilty to any intoxicated driving case or when attempting to obtain license restoration after a revocation period is expired

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