Reinstatement of Revoked or Suspended Driver's License
Having your driver’s license revoked or suspended can be a truly confusing maze of regulatory and criminal law. Depending on whether you have had your driver’s license suspended or revoked, and whether it was done automatically or by judicial order can determine the remedies you have available and when you should act now. You may need to explain to your family, friends, or an employer the duration of time that you will be unable to drive, so you will want to understand the status of what your driving privileges will be.
Suspension vs. Revocation
OWI I : Automatic Mandatory Suspension
Are you being charged with a first Operating While Impaired (OWI)? If you were arrested with a Blood Alcohol Content above .08 then there is a good chance that you are. The best advice you can get is to contest the charge with the help of our experienced attorneys. Grabel & Associates will fight to present the best evidence and defenses available to prevent an OWI from ever going on your record. This will keep your driving privileges intact. If you have already been convicted of a first OWI, then you will have an automatic, mandatory suspension of your driving privileges for 30 days. After one month, your suspension will be over and you will automatically have a restricted driver’s license reinstated after you pay the $150 reinstatement fee. You will have a restricted driver’s license for 150 days until your full driver’s license privileges are reinstated. This is neither the best nor the worst-case scenario for a first time drinking and driving offense.
It is important to understand that for a first time drinking and driving offense the outcome of your driving privileges will be determined in a criminal proceeding in district court, and not in an administrative hearing with the Secretary of State. For instance, if you get convicted of a high blood alcohol content OWI often known as the “Super Drunk OWI,” then you will be facing a mandatory 45-day suspension instead of just 30 days for a typical first OWI. You will only be charged with a Super Drunk OWI if you register a BAC of .17 or over.
The real drawback in receiving a high BAC conviction is not only the additional 15 days of suspension, but also the required restricted license after the suspension is complete. You will be on a restricted license for ten and a half months, and you will need to have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle. The price of the BAIID is not currently regulated in Michigan, but will cost around $160 per month. Consequently, you will be looking at an additional $1700 for the service fees on the ignition interlock device alone. This is why it is so important to have an experienced driver’s license reinstatement attorney to handle your case to make sure you get the least restrictions possible or a dismissal of all charges.
Let’s look at the best outcomes for your driving privileges for a first-time drinking and driving offense. Operating a Vehicle While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) is definitely a serious crime that you do not want to be convicted of. However, for a first-time offense it does carry the least restrictions on your driving privileges. Most notably, a first offense OWVI does not have any automatic mandatory suspension. Instead, there is a mandatory 90-day restricted license with no requirement for a BAIID.
Refusal to Take a Chemical Test: Automatic One Year Suspension
If you refuse chemical testing in the state of Michigan you will receive an automatic one year suspension. Although the suspension is not a revocation, once the period to contest by appeal has expired after 14 days, the automatic one-year suspension will take effect. You will not be eligible for a restricted license for a period of one year. You can, however, exhaust your available administrative remedies by filing an appeal within 14 days of refusing to submit to a chemical test and going before the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. This can be a viable and effective strategy for avoiding an automatic mandatory one-year suspension, but you have to act quickly. Navigate over to our “Implied Consent - Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing” page to learn more about this important administrative hearing process.
OWI II: Automatic One Year Revocation
Receiving a second OWI is grounds for an automatic revocation of your driver’s license for a period of one year. A revocation is very different than a suspension. When you lose your license by suspension, like with a first OWI, you still technically have a driver’s license, but do not have any of the privileges to use it until the suspension is over. However, when you have your driver’s license revoked, then you no longer have a driver’s license at all. A good example of the difference between a suspension and a revocation is a comparison to being suspended or expelled from school, respectively. If you are suspended from school for a week, you know you will be coming back to class at the end of the suspension. Similarly, at the end of your driver’s license suspension you will get your driving privileges back. For example, if you had your driving privileges automatically suspended after being convicted of a first OWI, then after 30 days you would have your driving privileges restored at the end of the suspension.
Alternatively, if you are expelled from school, then you are no longer enrolled in that school and you do not have the ability to return without reapplying. Similarly, once your driving privileges are revoked, then you have to apply to have them restored at the end of the statutory period.
If your license is revoked, you have no other option but to wait until you are eligible for a driver’s license restoration hearing. Once the revocation period has expired, you can file an application packet with the Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight. This office was formerly called the Administrative Hearings Section (AHS). The process of getting your license restored is a maze of steps and paper work. After you are eligible you will also need to meet the one-year sobriety requirement to get started. Then, you will need to get a substance abuse evaluation by a state licensed substance abuse counselor. You also will need a laboratory certified 12 panel drug screen that checks for specific gravity and creatinine levels. Next, you will need between three, but not more than six, reference letters that serve as “documentation of sobriety.” Also, you will need AA attendance sheets, Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) attendance sheets, or a letter from a counselor to provide evidence in support of sobriety. Finally, you will need to submit all of the information along with the hearing request forms 257 and 258. Now, you will need to wait between two to three months to receive your notice for hearing. We will work with you to prepare you for the hearing and make sure that we present the best possible case to the hearing officer.
If after reading this page you have determined that you have had your driver’s license revoked, then you should navigate to our Preparing for Your Driver’s License Restoration page to learn more about getting your driver’s license restored after a revocation.
Contact us online or give us a call for a free consultation to give yourself the best possible start towards getting your driver’s license restored.