Michigan Driver’s License Restrictions After a DUI

Hand on steering wheel depicting license restrictions in Michigan after a DUI.

Have you been arrested for a DUI charge in Michigan? One of the first questions people often have is whether they will lose their driver’s license. And if so, what the license restrictions are.

On top of the embarrassment and hassles of going through the process, many people worry that they won’t be able to get to work or school or take care of their children’s needs without a driver’s license.

Everything You Need to Know About License Restrictions After a DUI

Here’s everything you need to know to answer some of those questions:

Michigan Residents

For Michigan residents convicted of a first-time DUI charge, two things will happen.

First, you will be given a restricted driver’s license. Second, your car will be fitted with an ignition interlock. These two things will be in place for one year until you prove yourself to the court. At that time, you can appeal to have your full, unrestricted license back and to have the ignition interlock removed. 

Restricted Licenses – 2 types

Judges will award one of two types of restricted licenses.

One is purpose-based, the other is time-based license restrictions. Most often, the kind of license rewarded is purpose-based. This type of license allows someone to drive to and from a short list of places:

  • work
  • school
  • educational or employment training
  • medical treatment, and
  • counseling or support groups.

This type is more flexible because it allows you to drive to and from any of these places no matter what time of day or how often. If you get called in for overtime, this license allows that.

Time-based license restrictions are less common. They only provide days and times a person can drive, like 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and those times aren’t flexible.

If your job wants you to work overtime, or you have a meeting outside of that time, you simply cannot drive. There are no exceptions. 

Ignition Interlock

The judge will mandate an ignition interlock device regardless of what type of restricted license you win. You are required to have the device installed and give regular breath tests to use your car or any car you own or plan to own.

The device can not only keep your vehicle from starting if you blow a positive result. However, it will take samples as you drive in case you try to get someone else to blow a sample for you. 

Michigan Non-Residents – Winning A Clearance

If you are no longer a Michigan resident, you don’t win a license back since Michigan can’t award a driver’s license to a resident of another state.

Instead, you can appeal to have the Michigan hold upon your license cleared. Once this happens, you are likely to be given a full license in your new state.

Can You Get a Full License by Providing an Address in a Different State?

You might start to think it would just be easier to give your address in a different state and then “move back” to Michigan to have your full license reinstated.

However, that scheme is well known to the Michigan Secretary of State. You must provide proof of out of state residency, such as a state ID or utility bill with your name and address on it from that state. In addition, if you are in this situation and are genuinely moving back to Michigan from another state, it may work in your favor. 

Michigan DUI Attorney

The good news is that, if you are facing a first-time DUI (OWI or OWVI in Michigan) charge, you will be able to drive to and from your most important life functions.

It’s not going to be easy. However, the process is designed to convince you never to drink and drive ever again. The intention is that you will leave your life the way it was before you made a mistake after you have proven you won’t drink and drive.

If you or someone you love are looking at a DUI charge in Michigan, please call today. Let’s take a closer look at the driver’s license restrictions you are facing.

Michigan DUI attorney, David J. Kramer, has a proven record of defending clients and getting the best possible results. Reach out today for help.

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