Everyone facing a 1st offense DUI charge certainly intends for it to be their last. There has probably never been anyone in the history of the world who has thought differently. However, and as the old saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The reader can be sure that every person who has ever had a 2nd offense or 3rd offense DUI had sworn, each time prior, that they would never get caught driving drunk again. That simple promise may work for some people, but not for everyone. Before anyone blows this off, let me explain…

A 1st offense DUI charge should also be your last drinking and driving offenseIn our roles as Michigan DUI lawyers, we actively try to help our clients to make sure that their first DUI is, in fact, their last. This involves more than just trying to scare someone by rattling off how much worse a 2nd offense is over a 1st offense DUI charge. It’s understandable that everyone’s first concerns are things like staying out of jail, protecting their record, and not losing the ability to drive. Fortunately, that’s usually easy for us to accomplish in 1st offense cases.

Many people are so relieved when they avoid those things that they have little interest in thinking about any kind of “next time,” because they’re convinced there won’t be a next time. To be sure, for the vast majority of people, a 1st offense DUI charge WILL be their last. However, anytime a person finds him or herself in criminal legal trouble, it’s important to examine the whole situation honestly, and with an open mind, to see how he or she got there.

One of the most common ignition interlock violations in Michigan arises from a skipped rolling retest. From our perspectives as Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers that handle about 200 license appeal matters each year, this is probably the second-most frequent interlock violation, right behind those for a “tamper/circumvent” incident. Beyond the fact that both of these are violations, they have little else in common. A skipped rolling retest is always serous business. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at this unfortunate situation.

Don't despair, learn how to fight a skipped rolling retest violation.The whole point of an interlock device is to prevent the person required to use it from operating a vehicle after consuming beverage alcohol. As the reader knows, the interlock unit, technically called a “Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device,” or “BAIID” for short, requires the driver to provided a “clean” breath sample (meaning a BAC of less than .025) to start the vehicle, and thereafter requires, upon request, further samples as the vehicle continues to run. Missing even one of those tests will give rise to an automatic skipped rolling retest violation.

A little history will help shed some light on the importance of rolling resets. For many years, there was no such thing as a camera as part of a BAIID unit. Thus, Tricky Tom could have spent the night drinking, and then had his friend, Sober Sam, blow into the unit to get his car started, and nobody would have been any wiser. That kind of tactic won’t work now, because all interlock units have a camera, and it will generate a picture of whoever provides a breath sample. We’ll examine the potentially important role of the camera in a skipped rolling retest violation later.

Every DUI in Michigan is unique. Any one person’s DUI case is different from everyone else’s, just as a DUI in one place is different from another simply because of its location. In this article, we’re going to look at 5 things everyone should know about a DUI charge. As Michigan DUI lawyers, my team and I know the law of this state inside and out. Although we concentrate our DUI practice in the Greater-Detroit area of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and surrounding counties, what we cover here generally applies everywhere in Michigan.

5 things to know about a DUI in MichiganThe primary focus of our firm’s work is in DUI and driver’s license restoration appeals – all of come about as the result of multiple DUI convictions. Thus, we deal with DUI-related matters all day, every day. Unlike the DUI part of our practice, the portion that involves license appeals is done statewide. In fact, many of our license clients actually live outside of Michigan. Accordingly, our work in license appeals means that we see how DUI cases play out everywhere across the state.

To be sure, the law is the law, and it requires that, in every case, certain things must happen, and other cannot. As a consequence, every DUI in Michigan shares certain similarities. That said, the importance of location cannot be overstated. Some courts and Judges are just plain tougher than others. We can even see this sometimes happen in the same courthouse, if a DUI case is assigned to one Judge versus another. In this piece, however, we’re going to focus on the the more common state-wide similarities, rather than more specific, local differences.

From our perspectives as Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers, most tamper/circumvent ignition interlock violations are entirely NOT the fault of the person required to use the device. Of course, anytime the Secretary Of State issues a BAIID violation, it is serious business. The first thing that happens after a person receives notice of an interlock violation is that his or her driving privileges get revoked again. He or she must then request a hearing on the matter within 14 days, or their license will stay revoked.

Ignition interlock violations for tamper/circumvent in MichiganThis is how the law works. It won’t do ANY good to waste one’s breath griping about how this is unfair. As the saying goes, “it is what it is.” Driving is a privilege granted by the state, not a right. However much someone may not like it, that’s just a fact. Moreover, a person only winds up in this position after racking up multiple DUI’s. Someone can grumble that “this is unfair” all they want, but the reality is that there is no pool of public sympathy to change the driver’s license rules and make things easier for repeat DUI offenders.

True as all that may be, the simple fact is that the vast majority of tamper/circumvent ignition interlock violations DO produce an unfair result. Our firm handles about 200 license appeal matters per year, including many tamper/circumvent violation hearings. Fortunately, and without exception, every last one of the hundreds that we have fought over the years has been overturned. Unfortunately, in just about every such case, what happened was NOT the client’s fault, yet they still had hire us to fight this.

Admittedly, the title of this article is misleading, because there is an important point to be made about getting a DUI dismissed. As busy Michigan DUI lawyers, our firm knows there is no easy way to actually make that happen. Unfortunately, too many legal websites try to make it seem like the only thing a person must do to get his or her DUI charge dismissed is hire their firm. This is really a perfect example of the saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Getting a DUI dismissed is the best result for anyone facing a drunk driving charge.To be sure, there are plenty of situations where it is possible to get a DUI dismissed. My team and I do that whenever it’s legally feasible. What the reader needs to keep in mind is that it’s all well and fine for some lawyer to point out all the things that could be wrong with a DUI case. However, the only thing that matters is what the evidence proves after it has been carefully examined. Something can sound great in theory, but how it works out in practice can be quite different.

The simple fact is that it’s not particularly easy to get a DUI dismissed. When that does happen, it’s always because the lawyer has dug deep, worked hard, and found some flaw in the evidence. Then, he or she must file a motion and hold a hearing to convince the Judge that the case should not be allowed to proceed. Make no mistake, there is no Judge who will dismiss a drunk driving charge unless he or she has no other choice. As the common saying goes, let’s get real….

Winning Michigan driver’s license restoration and DUI cases requires a lawyer to ask a lot questions. Every last detail of a DUI case, including the client’s version of events, along with all of the evidence, must be carefully examined. In driver’s license restoration cases, my team and I need to know a person’s entire history with alcohol, other substances, and all of his or her legal problems. In either setting, before we can even think of suggesting what to do, or how to go about it, we need to discover certain things.

A good lawyer will have more questions than answers in DUI and license restoration casesTo us, as Michigan DUI and driver’s license restoration lawyers, this is second nature. We pretty much begin every consultation with some questions. In DUI cases, it’s always “where?” In driver’s license restoration cases, the first things we’ll need to know are when a person picked up his or her last DUI, how many they’ve had before that, and the last time he or she consumed any alcohol. No lawyer should ever talk about solutions until he or she first has a firm grasp of the underlying legal problem.

Unfortunately, many do that very thing. In an attempt to “sell” themselves, they’ll talk about results before they have seen any of the evidence (much less all of it,) or otherwise have a clear picture of the client’s situation. A good lawyer can’t provide any answers unless the right questions have been asked first. I was reminded of this while recently watching a spy drama on TV. One of the main characters, a senior CIA agent, asked for an update about an ongoing case from an investigating federal officer under his command. What followed really hit home with me:

Our firm guarantees to win every first time driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal case we take. We know what will win a license reinstatement/restoration case, and what will NOT. In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common things people believe, or say, that will absolutely stop any driver’s license appeal dead in its tracks. The goal here is to clear up some of those misconceptions and help the reader understand what IS necessary to win back a valid driver’s license, and why some things people think are important don’t matter at all.

Here are some things you need to know to win a Michigan driver's license reinstatement/restoration caseLet’s start with the obvious: People need to drive. If we had a nickel for every time someone said something like “I need to drive,” or “I need my license,” we’d be rich. It is understood that not having a license is a huge inconvenience, but that is the intended legal penalty for racking up multiple DUI’s. As one of the Michigan Secretary of State hearing officers says, “everybody needs a license.” Unfortunately, needing a license has absolutely nothing to do with being able to win it back.

Part of the reason for this is to protect the public from someone who is a demonstrated risk on the road. Under Michigan law, any person convicted of either 2 DUI’s within 7 years or 3 within 10 years is legally categorized as a “habitual alcohol offender.” One of the penalties is that his or her license will be revoked. Another is that he or she is thereafter legally presumed to have some kind of alcohol problem. This does NOT, however, mean that the person is assumed to be a raging alcoholic, but rather that his or her relationship to alcohol and driving has become risky.

Anyone in Michigan who refuses a breath or blood test following a DUI arrest faces a 1-year suspension of his or her driver’s license. Upon release, he or she will be issued a temporary (paper) driver’s license that is entitled “Officer’s Report of Refusal to Submit to Chemical Test.” If a hearing is not requested, within 14 days, as directed on the form, then the person’s driver’s license will AUTOMATICALLY be suspended for 1 year. This is independent of anything that does or does not happen as the result of the DUI charge (if any).

A chemical test for a DUI in Michigan can require either a blood draw or a breath sampleUnder Michigan law, when a person accepts a driver’s license, he or she agrees to submit to a chemical test when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. This is called “implied consent.” That consent is also implied for anyone who drives in this state with a valid license issued elsewhere. The difference is that if someone with an out-of-state (or Canadian) license refuses a breath test, his or her privileges to use that license in Michigan will be suspended for a year. Of course, his or her home state (or province) will almost certainly impose some kind of driver’s license penalty, as well.

When someone refuses a breath or blood test, it is known as an “Implied Consent refusal.” This is very different from refusing a preliminary breath test at the side of the road. That’s called a “PBT refusal.” The term “PBT” means “preliminary breath test.” A PBT refusal is a civil infraction. It does NOT carry the possibility of any license suspension. Our focus in this article will be on a person’s refusal to take the “big” test that is requested after he or she has been arrested.

As Michigan criminal and DUI lawyers, my team and I know full-well that being placed on probation is a break from being put or kept in jail. In the real world, however, some people lose sight of this fact and go on to1` either do something they’re not supposed to, or DON’T do something they’re required to do while on probation. Then, they wind up facing a probation violation (PV). When that happens, the only thing that matters is, to put it bluntly, saving the client’s a$$.

A probation violation is serious business, and you need a lawyer who can save you from getting locked up.That may sound raw, but the cold truth is that anyone who has to go back before the Judge for a probation violation (PV) is in real trouble. Often, though, the situation can be managed. There are, of course, many different ways one’s probation can be violated, and some are worse than others. Nevertheless, anyone who violates even a single term of probation has put themselves at a very real risk of being sent to jail. At this point, the only thing that matters is NOT getting locked up. To do that, the lawyer must convince the Judge to give his or her client yet another break.

In practice, very few probation violations are entirely without merit, meaning that the probation officer got it all wrong To be sure, we’ve handled plenty where we have been able to show that our client actually DID what he or she was supposed to (like attend a class), or did NOT do something forbidden (like when there is an error, or mix-up involving breath or urine test results). However, the simple fact is that these situations are far less common than those wherein the person on probation simply screwed up in some way.

For all the things one must do to begin a Michigan license restoration appeal, our firm makes it super convenient. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the Covid pandemic is that a whole lot of things can now be done remotely (virtually), including license appeals. As of this writing, the Michigan Secretary of State is conducting ALL driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal hearings virtually, and not in-person. Fortunately, our firm can handle everything we need to do the same way, as well.

Your License restoration appeal can be done from the comfort of your own homeAs it turns out, our driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal clients can, with 1 single exception, go through the entire process from the comfort of their homes. This includes undergoing the required Substance Use Evaluation (SUE). The exception, understandably, is that they must physically go to a place where they can provide a urine sample. A urinalysis is mandated by law, and the results must be filed with the other paperwork necessary to begin a license appeal case. Most people can easily find a lab or collection center near where they live.

None of this was possible just a few short years ago. Before Covid, our firm used to require all of our clients to meet with us in person. Then after Covid hit, we had no choice but to handle things virtually. As the old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.” The whole idea of meeting with a client via computer seemed awkward and strange at first, but we had no choice. Soon enough, though, we became comfortable with it, and, in time, learned how to ensure that our video meetings were every bit as effective as those conducted in-person.

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