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Driver’s License Restoration Glossary of Terms

Michigan Driver’s License Lawyers Win Back a Suspended or Revoked Driver’s License in Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, and Throughout Michigan

If you have lost your driving privileges in Michigan due to a drunk driving charge, work with Grabel & Associates to win it back. Our DL defense attorneys understand drunk driving cases, driver’s license appeals, and how to restore a suspended or revoked drivers license, and will do all they can to help you win back your Michigan’s driver’s license.

Below is a glossary of terms related to driver’s license restoration. If you have any questions about drunk driving charges or license restoration in Michigan, don’t hesitate to contact Scott Grabel and our team of driver’s license restoration lawyers.

Appeal: to challenge the ruling of a lower court. A person can appeal the verdict or sentence of a drunk driving case, or appeal a license suspension/revocation.

Breathalyzer: a trademarked device that measures a person’s Blood Alcohol Content. See also “Breath Test.”

Breath Test: a chemical test that tries to determine the amount of alcohol in a suspect’s breath using a Breathalyzer device. Field breath tests are notoriously unreliable, and you need to work with an attorney who understands Breathalyzer calibration and common problems with chemical test results.

Blood Test: a chemical test that uses a blood sample to measure a person’s Blood Alcohol Content. Machines must be properly calibrated and samples handled with extreme care to ensure accurate results.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): also known as blood alcohol concentration, the percentage weight of alcohol in a set volume of blood. In the state of Michigan, the legal limit is 0.08% for standard drivers, 0.04% for commercial drivers, and 0% for underage drivers (see “Zero Tolerance”).

Case Time Limits: In drunk driving cases, there are limits set to complete each stage of a case, designed to speed up the trial process. While these limits can ensure a swift and just trial, without a competent attorney you could fall behind in your case and miss out on the best possible result.

Charge: a formally filed criminal accusation.

Child Endangerment: drunk driving while a child is present in the vehicle can result in enhanced penalties for child endangerment.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): a driver’s license for work related purposes (ex. truck drivers). The legal BAC limit for Michigan commercial drivers is 0.04%.

Conviction: when a person has been found guilty of the charges he or she has been facing. After conviction, a person will face sentencing.

Drivers License Appeal Hearing: The Michigan Secretary of State Driver's Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight section hears driver’s license restoration cases. In a driver license appeal hearing, you and your lawyer will work to prove you deserve your license back.

Defendant: the person who has been charged in a criminal DUI case.

Driver’s License Hearing: see drivers license appeal hearing.

Driver’s License Points: see Point System.

Driver’s License Restoration: to earn back a driver’s license after it has been suspended (see “Suspension”) or revoked (see “Revocation”).

Driving Under the Influence (DUI): see Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): see Operating While Intoxicated (OWI).

Field Sobriety Tests: a series of tests performed to determine a suspect’s level of intoxication. Also known as roadside tests, these sobriety tests can include walking in a straight line, touching your finger to your nose, and other highly unreliable tests.

Felony: a more serious charge is referred to as a felony, often resulting from multiple drunk driving convictions.

High BAC: see Super Drunk Law.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID): a breath test device that is attached to a vehicle, requiring the driver to record his or her BAC before starting the vehicle. Many IIDs also take photos, and require rolling retests. If an Ignition Interlock Device is part of your sentence or a condition of your license suspension/restriction, you will have to pay to have it installed and eventually removed.

Misdemeanor: a less serious charge, however can still result in jail time, fines, license suspension, and other serious penalties.

Open Container: any unsealed or uncapped alcoholic beverage in a vehicle can result in a misdemeanor open container charge, regardless of who was drinking the beverage or the reason for which the seal was broken.

Operating Under the Influence of Liquor (OUIL): a person may be charged with operating under the influence of liquor if an officer believes that alcohol consumption affected his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. It is not necessary to test over the legal BAC limit of 0.08% in order to be charged with OUIL, and the prosecution doesn’t need to prove you were intoxicated, simply that you were influenced by alcohol consumption.

Operating While Intoxicated (OWI): the term for a drunk driving charge in Michigan. Commonly referred to as DUI or drunk driving, OWI is Michigan’s term for drunk driving charges. If you operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs, you could face OWI charges.

Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI): a charge that can result from cases in which a driver appears to be intoxicated, but may not actually have an unlawful blood alcohol content. OWVI may also be offered as a plea bargain, because although the penalties are still serious, they are not as harsh as OWI penalties.

Operating With the Presence of Drugs (OWPD): in the state of Michigan, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any amount of an intoxicating drug in your system. Driving while under the influence of an illegal narcotic or prescription drug could result in OWPD charges.

Point System: if convicted of a criminal offense (or certain administrative offenses), such as OWI, speeding, or failure to obey traffic signs, you may be assigned points on your license, which accumulate and can eventually result in license suspension or revocation.

Prosecutor: the attorney who is assigned to prove the defendant is guilty in a drunk driving case.

Reckless Driving: driving on a highway, road, or other publically available area with disregard for the safety of other people or property is a criminal offense, punishable by jail time and a fine.

Revocation: a driver’s license revocation results in a driver’s license being taken away completely. After the period of mandatory revocation is up, he or she will need to win a drivers license appeal hearing in order to have the opportunity to reapply for a new license.

Sentence: the criminal penalties faced after a person is convicted of a crime in Michigan.

Sobriety Courts: a special court designed to encourage sobriety, utilizing a voluntarily entered program that if completed, could help a person avoid criminal penalties. Always consult with an attorney before entering a plea or taking any other legal action in your case.

Super Drunk Law: persons who operate a motor vehicle with more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit (0.16%) are subject to enhanced penalties under Michigan’s Super Drunk law.

Suspension: a driver’s license suspension results in a person’s driving privileges being taken away for a period of time. After the suspension period is over, you may have to reapply for a new license, and/or pay a reinstatement fee.

Unlawful Blood Alcohol Content (UBAL): a blood alcohol content over 0.08%, which can result in criminal penalties even if alcohol consumption did not affect your ability to safely drive.

Zero Tolerance: persons under 21 years of age are not permitted to operate a vehicle with the presence of any alcohol in the bloodstream. Operating a vehicle with a BAC over 0.02% can result in OWI charges.

Contact Grabel & Associates 24/7 for DL Restoration

Our Michigan driver’s license restoration firm is available 24/7 to answer any legal questions you may have, toll free at 1-800-677-9795 or online. Speak with experienced driver license appeal hearing attorney Scott Grabel and fight back against Michigan driver’s license suspension or a revoked MI driver’s license.

Please note: Recently Administrative Hearings Section (AHS) changed their name to the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. Common use of the name Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight has not yet been widely accepted and the entity responsible for driver's license hearings is still referred to as AHS in almost all legal areas, which is why we continue to use the term "AHS" throughout our website. More information about this change can be found at the Michigan Secretary of State's website.

Client Reviews

There are many lawyers out there that claim to be able to get your license returned to you. I can truly say Scott Grabel and his team helped me get my driver’s license back the first time! Even though I thought it was an insurmountable task they walked me through every step of the process. Grabel & Associates are the people you need because they seem to have a formula that works D.A.
This firm is no joke! DO NOT waste your money on any other law firm in the state. I paid $3000 for a "high-level" attorney and was denied twice. After having a consultation with Grabel & Associates, they could not believe I was ever denied and got my license back first try. I am telling you from first hand experience - INVEST IN GRABEL & ASSOCIATES!! Rob
The best law firm in the state. Outstanding communication and friendly. If you want or need to win your case this is the law firm that will take you there. All Personnel at this firm will do whatever it takes to win. They help me get my driver’s license back without me having to leave Alaska. From 1 to 10 THEY ARE #1 Tim K.