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Grand Rapids DUI License Suspensions

In Grand Rapids, a person convicted of drunk driving may face a life time revocation of his/her driving privilege. However, unlike many other states, this will not happen unless and until you are convicted. If you can avoid the conviction, you can thereby avoid the license suspension and/or revocation. Our Grand Rapids DUI attorney’s goal is to do just that, to win your case. However, we don’t win every case, so you will probably want to know what will happen if we are unable to obtain a dismissal or acquittal for you. There are several different driver license sanctions that may be imposed in a DUI case, and these depend on a variety of circumstances. Here is a brief overview:

There are several different driver license sanctions that may be imposed in a DUI case, and these depend on a variety of circumstances. Here is a brief overview:

First Offense Drunk Driving (OWI/DUI)

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Michigan, and it is your first offense, then your license will be suspended for 30 days. This initial suspension is followed by a 150 day restricted license.

First Offense “Super Drunk”

If you are convicted of a high BAC (.17 or above) first offense “super drunk” then your license will be suspended for 380 days, but you may have a restricted license, with a BAIID after the first 45 days.

Second Offense Drunk Driving (OWI/DUI)

If you are convicted of drunk driving a second time, and the conviction for your prior offense occurred within 7 years of the conviction for your most recent drunk driving offense, then your license is revoked for life. However, you will have a right to have this determination reviewed after one year. If you prevail at the hearing, then your driving privilege will be restored, but it will be a restricted license with an ignition interlock device. If you lose this first hearing, you may not ask again for another year, and so on. At best you are entitled to one hearing per year.

Third Offense Drunk Driving (OWI/DUI)

The driver license sanction for a third OWI/DUI/DWI conviction will depend on your prior record. If you have been convicted of drunk driving three times within 10 years, then your license will be revoked for five years. If your license was revoked at least once for drunk driving within the prior 7 years, then it’s a hard five year revocation. However, if you have no such prior revocation, then you may apply for a license after just 1 year. Like a second offense, if you prevail at the hearing, then your driving privilege will be restored, but it will be a restricted license with an ignition interlock device. If you lose this first hearing, you may not ask again for another year, and so on.

Bear in mind that the above description is general, and may not apply to you. It is critical that you discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case with your DUI lawyer BEFORE deciding what to do in your case. If you are underage, or if you have a CDL, then the driver license sanctions may be greater or lesser than those described above.

It is also important for you to understand that just because you have a right to have a hearing; this does not mean you will obtain a license. In fact, the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) begins with the assumption that you will not be getting a license back. Consequently, unless you can prove by clear and convincing evidence, a very high standard, that you meet the requirements for license restoration, you will NOT obtain a driver’s license. This is why a license revocation in Michigan for multiple drunk driving convictions is literally for life.

Note: if you’ve been convicted of a multiple drunk driving offense in Michigan, and it is after January 1, 2011, then your case may fall under the new Sobriety Court law, making it possible for you to obtain a license after the first 45 days.