man successfully drives after getting michigan driver's license back following a third DUIWhat To Expect From a 3rd DUI

What to expect from a 3rd DUI? DUI or OWI conviction in the state of Michigan constitutes a serious offense. You could face fines, community service, driver’s license suspension, or even jail time. The situation becomes even more serious after a second offense, which is where your license is likely to be revoked by the Secretary of State. If you get your license reinstated and then commit a third DUI, the consequences are likely to be even more severe, both in terms of your criminal sentencing and your future driving rights. 

However, you do have options if you’re willing to put in the work. If you’re facing a third DUI or are facing a license reinstatement case after multiple DUIs in Michigan, here’s what you need to know. 

Consequences of a Third DUI

There are two different types of consequences when it comes to your third DUI: criminal penalties and license revocation. On a criminal level, you are likely to face some combination of jail time, fines, and community service. The exact penalties vary from case to case depending on the severity of each situation. You can work with a criminal defense attorney to try and get a sentence that’s as lenient as possible. 

Then there’s the license revocation portion. This consequence isn’t really up for debate after three DUIs. You’re almost certain to have your driving rights revoked. And if your three DUIs have come within a period of ten years, then you’ll likely have to wait at least five years before even applying for a license reinstatement hearing. The exact qualifications for filing can vary depending on the details of your case. So you should consult with a Michigan license restoration lawyer to determine whether or not you meet the specific requirements. 

Next Steps After a Third DUI

In order to win back your driving rights after multiple DUIs, you need to prove to the Secretary of State or sobriety court officers that you’ve addressed the substance abuse issues that led to those DUIs in the first place. This means that your very first step should be focusing on getting sober. 

Of course, this also involves complying with any court orders that relate to your sobriety. You may be required to seek counseling or attend AA meetings or similar programs. Even if these items are not specifically required, they can often be beneficial for recovery and for an eventual driver’s license reinstatement hearing. But every case is different. 

The timeline for applying for a driver’s license reinstatement hearing in Michigan can vary depending on the timing of your DUIs. You may be able to reapply after a period of one year. But if your DUIs occurred within a ten year period, then you may have to wait for up to five years before applying. This timeline is meant to give drivers the opportunity to get sober and address the underlying causes behind their substance abuse issues. 

Once the designated time has passed, you can work with a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement lawyer to attempt to win back your driving rights. This process involves gathering evidence and testimony that supports your claims of sobriety. In some cases, you may be granted a restricted license, which means driving with an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a set period of time. If you make it through that period without any violations, you could very well win back unrestricted driving rights. 

What You Need to Know About Michigan Driver’s License Reinstatement After a Third DUI

If you’re considering applying for driver’s license reinstatement in the state of Michigan, the goal is to prove to the state that your substance abuse issues are under control and that you’re unlikely to reoffend in the future. You also must have at least a half year to a full year of sobriety under your belt. Most people need at least a full year, and that is even more likely to be the case with those who have three or more DUIs. 

There are several different types of evidence you’ll need. The Secretary of State requires:

  • A ten-panel drug screen 
  • A substance use evaluation form filled out by a state-approved counselor
  • Three to six letters of support from members of your community
  • A request for hearing form

In many cases, it’s also beneficial to bring supporting evidence like AA attendance logs, documentation of treatment, or notes from your sponsor. However, these aren’t mandatory and vary from case to case. If you’re applying for an unrestricted license, you’ll also need a copy of your ignition interlock report from the past year to prove that you met the requirements. 

It’s also important for you to attend the hearing and submit testimony about your situation. This isn’t to rehash the facts of the case surrounding your DUIs. It’s more about your current situation and your ability to stay sober and safe on the road going forward. An experienced Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyer can help you prepare for some of the common questions and talking points that are likely to help your case. They can also help you gather all of the necessary and beneficial evidence to support your claims of sobriety and your motivation to continue your rehabilitation and recovery going forward. 

After your first hearing, the goal is to obtain a restricted license. If you drive successfully with the interlock device, which requires you to submit to a breath alcohol test before starting your vehicle, then you can usually apply for another hearing in a year to have your full driving rights reinstated.