Michigan law allows the Secretary of State to impose up to a lifetime revocation of all driving privileges if you are convicted of a Michigan OWI.
It is absolutely critical that you hire an attorney who focuses his or her practice on drunk-driving defense. Your driving privilege is perhaps the most valuable asset you own, even more valuable than your home or retirement account, for you simply cannot continue to earn a living without driving privileges.
The Michigan Secretary of State can automatically revoke your driving privileges if you refused to submit to a blood or breath test when asked to do so by the police. The revocation of your driving privileges can be imposed even if you have not yet appeared in court. If the police are alleging that you refused to provide a breath or blood sample, even if such an allegation is untrue, you will only have 14 days in which to appeal. If you do not file a Request for Hearing within 14 days of allegedly refusing to provide a breath or blood sample, your Michigan driver’s license will be automatically revoked for one year, even if your case hasn’t been scheduled for its first court hearing. If there is an allegation that you refused to provide a blood or breath sample, you must act very quickly.
Even if you have previously had a perfect driving record, a conviction for a Michigan OWI first offense can result in a 30-day revocation of all driving privileges, followed by a 150-day period of restricted driving (work, school, doctor, court and counseling/AA). Michigan OWI first offense defendants who register blood alcohol levels of .17% or higher can be charged with “Super Drunk”. In those cases you can have your driving privileges completely revoked for 45 days. After the 45 days has passed, you may only drive over the next 320 days with the installation of an expensive and embarrassing interlock ignition device. If you choose not to have the interlock ignition device installed, then your license will remain completely revoked for that additional 320-day period.
If this is your second Michigan OWI conviction within seven years of your previous OWI conviction, the Secretary of State can impose what is, in essence, a lifetime license revocation. After the one-year revocation period has passed, you are then eligible to request a reinstatement hearing which is held at a Secretary of State hearing office. These reinstatement hearings are notoriously difficult and oftentimes result in continued denial of privileges. If you are denied at the Secretary of State hearing, you may not request a new reinstatement hearing until a full year has passed from the date of your hearing. Many times, defendants convicted of Michigan OWI second offense can be without driving privileges of any sort for two, three, four or more years. When your Secretary of State reinstatement hearing is ultimately successful, you are then only privileged to drive during limited times and only with the installation of an expensive and embarrassing interlock ignition device. This is required to be installed, used and monitored for a full year, after which time you may appeal for another hearing with the Secretary of State for full driving privileges, provided there have been no violations recorded with the interlock ignition device.
Michigan OWI third offense convictions often result in up to a five-year complete revocation of all driving privileges. Like the OWI second offense defendants described above, reinstatement of driving privileges can be granted only after a Secretary of State reinstatement hearing.
Michigan Secretary of State hearings, whether for refusal to provide blood or breath samples or for reinstatement purposes, are notoriously difficult hearings. There is a “clear and convincing evidence” burden that you must meet during the hearing. The police or the hearing officer does not need the presence of overwhelming evidence to deny you your driving privileges. It is critical that you hire a skilled Michigan OWI attorney who knows how to navigate the tricky Michigan Secretary of State process.
Attorney Richard I. Lippitt can assist you during your Secretary of State hearing. Mr. Lippitt appears in Michigan courts over 350 times each year in defense of Michigan OWIs and in protection of driving privileges.
Mr. Lippitt stands ready to provide you with a free, no obligation meeting regarding your Michigan OWI. Please contact us via the form on this page or call (248)921-7164.