The Secretary of State (SOS) in Michigan can suspend your license or revoke it for a variety of reasons. A few examples are, drinking alcohol while driving, drunk driving, driving while under the influence of controlled substances, reckless driving, excessive speeding, vehicular manslaughter, and repeat minor offenses like running stop signs. The main factors in play when the SOS decides whether to suspend or revoke your license is a combination of the violations you’re convicted for, your previous driving and criminal record, and your response to court recommendations and requirements.
If your license is revoked under statute MCL 257.52, you have to wait a year before attempting to reapply for even a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to go to the places you absolutely have to go to (i.e., work, rehab) and can prove that you have to go to. To be considered for such a license you have to appeal to the DLAD (Driver’s License Appeal Division). If you have been convicted of a prior related offense you have to wait five years before attempting to have your license reinstituted.
Now, if it is your first offense, the State employs a stick and carrot approach by offering only 90 days of restriction on your license and no suspension or revocations if you sign a guilty plea. It is the best option for many people, however it is best that a qualified attorney advise you in making this decision.
To have your license reinstated by the DLAD you have to satisfy the following criteria.
You must prove that you have stopped using alcohol, effectively completed an alcohol program and regularly attend support groups such as AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous). You also need to provide written testimony from friends and family that expresses a notably positive and productive change in your lifestyle. Plus, you are required to demonstrate a necessity for a license in your daily life. These standards are very real and are enforced consistently. Satisfying these criteria of the SOS are the only way back on the road and back to normal life.
It is important to note that if you’ve refused a breathalyzer test , you have 14 days to challenge what is an automatic 1 year suspension of your license. If this is your second refusal in less than 7 years, the mandatory suspension is for two years. If you are still within this 14 day period we strongly suggest you contact an attorney to help you save you license before it is too late.
Furthermore, it is imperative if you have already had your license suspended you do NOT drive! For,if you get pulled over, the suspension period will be extended considerably, making it that much harder to get it back.
Michigan, as does much of America, considers drinking and driving a serious offense. With fines in the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, and jail time in the months, if not years, they consequences are heavy. If you are caught driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated you may not only lose your license for a year or two, you may lose the use of your car. And actually, not only will you lose the use of your car, but everyone will lose the use of your car – this means any relatives and friends. Even if the car isn’t yours, it can still be "immobilized," until the SOS deems you a safe and responsible citizen and driver. Remember this when taking someone else’s car for a spin.
There are several defenses that are common when one is facing an OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), or OWVI (operating a vehicle while visibly impaired) in Michigan.
One is questioning the credibility of the arresting officer’s "probable cause" to pull you over in the first place, and then to test your level of intoxication. If you we’re pulled over on false pretenses, then everything which followed the arrest is effectively voided, in many cases. The next is the sufficiency of evidence that corroborates the driver was in fact intoxicated to the point of impairment during the traffic stop. If the cop simply thinks you look drunk and throws you in the back of his car, then the Prosecutor has no objective evidence you committed a crime. In this case, an OWI attorney can easily prevent a conviction. Another defense is if the police do test your blood alcohol content (BAC), but the numbers or the machine, or the specific method of application are in question. If there is reasonable suspicion that an aspect of the measurement was performed improperly or a tool malfunctioned, then there is a good chance the defendant can be acquitted.
Remember, the SOS of Michigan has a lot of power over traffic violators and drunk drivers. Your best option is to at least consult once with a professional attorney who specializes in this type of law to determine the most effective course of action. You could lose a lot of money, your car, and your freedom.