In Michigan, it used to be that a Second Drunk Driving Offense within a 7 year period would suspend your driver's license for a 'minimum' of 1 year. After the 1 year minimum was up, you would then be only 'eligible' to apply for a driver's license by requesting a hearing with a SOS Hearing Officer and suppling them with voluminous documentation, including current alcohol assessment evaluation report, 3-6 reference letters, proof of sobriety documentation such as AA/NA Meetings, and so forth. In sum, it is a very burdensome task and the offenders often failed to adhere the SOS's strict requirements for requesting a hearing and/or proving their sobriety which lead to additional delays and denials of thier requests for a restricted or full driving privileges. Furthermore, the process was often costly and many times require the services of an experienced Restricted Drivers License Attorney or DUI Attorney.
With the passage of the new law, now a second DUI Offender in Michigan is automatically approved to receive a restricted driver's license after a minimum of 45-day waiting period so long as they can show:
- She/He was arrested for a DUI after January 1, 2011 and their first DUI conviction and second DUI convictions were within 7 years; AND
- Enrolled in an Approved Sobriety Court Program.
Once the offender is in the Sobriety Court Program, the Court will then notify the SOS of their enrollment status and other information, including the placement of an interlock control device on their vehicle(s) they own or operate; and in turn, the SOS will mail the offender a restricted driver's license allowing them to drive to and from work, school, court, alcohol education/programs, etc.
Unfortunately, many attorneys who are unfamiliar with the ever-changing DUI laws in Michigan fail to inform their clients charged with a second DUI, to look into the court's Sobriety Court Program. If one is available in that particular court, it would be prudent in their client's best interests to, at minimum, advise their second DUI clients of the benefits of the sobriety program. While the program is very rigorous, time consuming and somewhat expensive, however the rewards of being able to drive on restricted driver's license is outweighed by time and expense the offender has to endure.
Attorney Daniel D. Hajji is a Criminal Defense Attorney with a Main Office located in Farmingtons Hills, Michigan.