As a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer, I receive tons of inquiries about the License Restoration process. These inquiries include every possible scenario one could imagine. My actual License Practice is essentially limited to Restoring Michigan Licenses, or fixing Michigan Driving Records (for out-of-state Clients) for people who have lost their License because of multiple DUI convictions. In this article, we’ll examine how multiple DUI cases cause Licenses to be lost.
Almost every day, I receive an email from someone who needs help with a “Suspended License.” Often, a few questions later, I learn that they really need help with a License that was “Revoked” because of multiple DUI convictions. That’s my specialty. If a person is Sober, and I accept their case, I Guarantee that I will win their Michigan Driver’s License Appeal and get them back on the road.
Unfortunately, others see the terms “Michigan Driver’s License” and”Appeal” and look no further. Worse yet, most of these people face no real obstacle to reinstating their License beyond owing a lot of money to the State, or a Court, or both. If someone owes money to the Secretary of State for Driver Responsibility Fees, or has outstanding Court Costs or Fines, I cannot help them. They simply need to pay what they owe. Sometimes, they might hope I can “do something” to help them get a License without first paying what they owe, but I cannot. No one can. When the problem is owing money, the solution is paying the money. And if they can’t come up with the money they owe elsewhere, how would they hire me, anyway, and for what, to be the courier of their payment?
The number of DUI convictions a person has accumulated is the single most important factor affecting their eligibility to seek Restoration of their License, or to have their Driving Record Cleared. This is actually quite simple, because back in 1999, the State of Michigan adopted new rules regarding multiple Drunk Driving cases under the moniker of “Habitual Offender.”
Beginning on January 1, 1999, the State simply counted the number of DUI convictions a person had, and began imposing Driver’s License penalties accordingly. At its most basic, it looks like this:
- Two DUI’s within seven years = License Revoked for one year minimum
- Three DUI’s within ten years = License Revoked for five years minimum
Here’s the breakdown In more detail:
Any combination of 2 alcohol related traffic offenses (OWI, OUIL, UBAL, OWVI, Person Under 21 with BAC .02 to .07) within seven years requires a License Revocation for life, and a person must wait at least 1 year to seek Restoration of Driving Privileges. Note that only one conviction for Person Under 21 with BAC .02 to .07 can count in tallying up prior offenses. To most people, this means that their License will be Revoked for at least a year.
Any combination of 3 (or more) alcohol related traffic offenses within 10 years results in a lifetime Revocation, except in these cases, a person must wait at least 5 years to file a License Restoration or Clearance Appeal. Most people simply understand this to mean that that their License will be Revoked for at least 5 years.
Many people get confused when an out of state DUI winds up on their Michigan Driving Record, and counts against them. Out of state DUI convictions count on a Michigan Driving Record, and the reverse is often true, as well. Thus, if a Michigan resident got their firs DUI here in the state in 2007, and then picked up another DUI in a different state in 2009, they’d have their Michigan License Revoked for the mandatory minimum one year after Michigan was notified of that 2009 out of state conviction. Important here is the term “notified.” Thus, if Michigan didn’t catch wind of the 2009 out of state conviction until 2011, the 1-year minimum Revocation would not start running until then.
Recently, I handled a case for a person whose License was issued in Ohio. He never lived in Michigan, never had a Michigan Driver’s License, and never applied for one. He came to Michigan often, however, to visit a girlfriend who lives here, and a family cottage on our side of the border, and managed to pick up 2 Michigan DUI convictions. Michigan Revoked his driving privileges here, in the state. A Michigan Driver’s License number was issued for him, and according to Michigan, that License was Revoked, as were his privileges to drive in this state on any License issued in or by any other State.
The real kicker came when he went to renew his Ohio License. He was unable to do so because of the Michigan Revocation, or “Hold.” Therefore, in order to renew the License in Ohio, the only state in which he had ever held one, he had to obtain a “Clearance” of his Michigan Driving Record.
In virtually every case that I handle, a person’s License has been Revoked for DUI’s. Occasionally, a person will have a drug, or substance abuse related conviction, like Operating Under the Influence of Drugs (OUID) on their Record, but that has the same impact as a DUI, anyway, and really doesn’t change the way things are handled.
Beyond out of state convictions, another “fly in the ointment,” so to speak, is what are called “Mandatory Additionals.” These are additional periods of Revocation tacked on because a person with a Revoked License gets caught driving while their License is Suspended or Revoked. In my experience, most people who have dealt with this issue have some understanding of it. For example, if a person picks up a 3rd DUI in the year 2000, they learn, of course, that their License will be Revoked for 5 years, meaning their first eligibility to file a Michigan Restoration Appeal would have arisen in 2005. If that same person picks up a Traffic Offense such as a Suspended or Revoked License charge (DWLS/DWLR) in 2003, they will have another 5 year Revocation (the Mandatory Additional) tacked on, pushing their first eligibility to file a License Appeal out to the year 2008.
Sometimes, people aren’t clear on the exact dates in these situations. This is just one of many reasons why getting a copy of their official Michigan Driving Record is so important before undertaking a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Appeal.
Whatever else, as a Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Attorney, the kind of help I provide traces back to a License that was lost because of multiple DUI convictions. Anytime someone begins explaining that their License is Suspended because they owe money, I can almost guarantee that the solution to their problem is to pay that money. Of course, many people are unable to pay what they owe, and that is a very real problem, but not one, I’m afraid, that a Lawyer can help with.