One DUI conviction is a serious offense in the state of Michigan. But two or more can have even more serious consequences. Aside from any court ordered sentences, you also have to deal with the indefinite loss of your driving rights.
These cases should always be taken very seriously. But getting a second DUI in Michigan does not necessarily mean the permanent end to your ability to drive legally. You do have options.
Here’s what you should know about the consequences associated with two or more DUIs, along with your options for second DUI license reinstatement in Michigan. Knowing all the facts will help you gain a better chance of success when the time comes to win back your driving rights.
Consequences of Second DUI in Michigan
You may already be familiar with some of the consequences of a single DUI or OWI conviction in Michigan. You may have to pay hefty fines, do community service, or even spend some time in jail. After one DUI, some drivers do have their vehicles immobilized or their licenses suspended, depending on the circumstances. All of these court ordered penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis. So there’s not one standard set of consequences that every offender can expect.
However, multiple DUIs come with increased consequences, especially when it comes to your driving rights. After receiving your second DUI conviction in the state of Michigan, your license is automatically revoked, in addition to any other penalties that the court deems necessary. This isn’t the same as a suspended license. You do not automatically get your license back after a select period of time, and you cannot simply visit your local Secretary of State office after 90 days to apply for a new one. A revoked license means that your driving rights are completely taken away indefinitely. You cannot even attempt to win them back for at least a year.
This is because if a person obtains multiple DUIs, it usually indicates a pattern of substance abuse or other underlying issues that need to be addressed in order for the offender to safely operate a vehicle on a regular basis. The idea is that you need to take a year or more to get sober and address any underlying issues related to your substance abuse. Then you can actively attempt to win back your driver’s license by submitting evidence to support your claims of sobriety.
License Restoration for Driving Under the Influence – Your First Steps
If you’ve had your license revoked after your second DUI in the state of Michigan, you need to file for an appeal with the Secretary of State in order to win back your driving rights. Of course, if you have been granted a restricted license through sobriety court, you don’t need to file for a hearing until you are ready to get your full license. However, this isn’t a court appeal like you might be used to. You cannot file right away after a conviction – you must wait until you are eligible. And you may actually never step foot in a courtroom. License restoration appeals take place directly with the Michigan Secretary of State. And their purpose is to determine whether or not you’ve addressed the substance abuse issues that led to your DUI convictions and if you can be trusted to operate a vehicle safely moving forward. It’s not about rehashing the details of your last DUI or arguing the facts of that particular case.
Because of that, you cannot immediately file for this type of hearing. After two DUIs in Michigan, you need at least a year of sobriety under your belt before you can file to have a revoked license reinstated. And that number goes up after three or more DUIs. Often, you must wait five years to proceed. This is because it takes time to address chronic substance abuse problems. So the state wants to see that you have actually done the recovery work necessary before even considering your case.
As such, the first steps you take after a second or third DUI conviction in Michigan should be to work on your own sobriety. Of course, you should follow any court orders about attending AA meetings or speaking with counselors. But even if you haven’t been specifically ordered to do so, participating in programs or seeking professional help can be beneficial to an eventual license restoration case, as well as your overall safety and wellbeing.
Once you have at least a full year of sobriety under your belt after your second DUI, your next step should be to consider finding an experienced attorney who deals with license restoration cases. Together, you can collect all of the necessary evidence and file for a hearing with the Secretary of State. If your case is successful, you may be granted a restricted Michigan driver’s license, which allows you to drive with an interlock device on your vehicle for a year. This type of device requires you to submit a breathalyzer each time you start the vehicle. It also collects data to create reports about your usage. So it will know if any of your attempts are unsuccessful. If you make it through the year without incident, you can file for another hearing to have your driving rights reinstated without any restrictions.
Second DUI License Restoration in Michigan – It’s Not the End
Basically, it’s important to note that your second DUI is not necessarily the end for you as a driver. You do need to put in the time and hard work that goes along with getting sober and addressing any underlying issues behind your substance abuse. And you should consider working with a license restoration lawyer to gather all of the necessary evidence and information to support your case. But if you’re dedicated to winning back your driving rights, you certainly have the ability to do so. You can eventually win them back without any restrictions if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.