When the blue and red lights come on you immediately begin to go down a mental check list: Where is my license? Where is my insurance and registration? How fast was I going? Is my seatbelt on? And for those of you with a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) you need to revert to your initial training.
First, you need to notify the officer that you hold a CPL and where the weapon is located[i]. Further, you may be subject to a $500 fine and 6 month CPL suspension if you fail to notify the officer.[ii] Typically, the officer will have knowledge that you hold a CPL after running the license plate to inquire who the vehicle is registered to, and then running the registered owner’s license that would include notification that the potential driver is a CPL holder. Officers are going to approach with much caution under these circumstances, therefore, it is important for you to be forthcoming and cooperative and consult with an attorney to avoid any unnecessary penalties.
In some cases, these temporary traffic stops morph into in-depth drunk driving investigations. If you are arrested for drunk driving, the penalties that you may endure or the degree of the penalties depend on several variables.
First, the major distinction between the potential penalties depends on whether you physically had your pistol on your person, in the vehicle, locked in the vehicle, or at home.
However, for your county licensing board, there is no presumption of innocence when arrested for drunk driving. When you are arrested or more specifically charged with drunk driving the Prosecutor (who by law is typically a member of the licensing board) is required to report the drunk driving charge to the county licensing board[iii]. When the Board receives that notice they will send Order of Suspension because of the alleged violation.[iv]
You are required then to forfeit your license in a timely manner, and failure to do so is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and /or fine of $500.[v]
This suspension will continue until the disposition of the drunk driving. When the matter is ultimately resolved, the prosecutor again is required to report the disposition to the Board so they may take appropriate action. The Board will then send a subsequent Notice of suspension and possible revocaction. Under some circumstances, you have a right to a hearing[vi] but the board is going to revoke your CPL as result of a drunk driving conviction.
When reviewing the CPL application and renewal requirements, to be eligible for for CPL you can not have a drunk driving within the past 3 years. Therefore, it is anticpated that the suspension would likely continue for a minimum of 3 years.
However, these penalties are subject to whether the pistol was on person when the alleged offense occurred. If the pistol was on person, and not locked in the trunk or not at home, and the BAC or bodily alcohol content was above a .10, then the CPL will be permantly revoked.[vii] If the the BAC was .08 or more but less than .10, then the it would be revoked for not more than 3 years, and 1 year revocation if more .02 or more but less than .08. [viii] In addition, there are related criminal charges if the pistol is on person, which may include 93 day jail sentence and $100 fine. [ix]
Therefore, it is extremely important to notify the officer immediately of the CPL and pistol location when involved in a traffic stop. If you are subsequently arrested for drunk driving, you may anticipate that you will be required to relinquish your license to the Board, and may have pistol forefeited. That suspension will conitnue until disposition of the case, and notification by the prosecuting attorney to the Board. The potential suspension will depend on the resolution of the case, but also some of the other aspects outlined above. In addition, it is likely that you would not be eligible for renewal of the CPL for a minimum of 3 years if convicted of the drunk driving.
[i] MCL 28.425f(3)
[ii] MCL 28.425f(4)
[iii] MCL 28.425m
[iv] MCL 28.425b(7)(i)
[v] MCL 28.425b(16)
[vi] MCL 28.428
[vii] MCL 28.425k(a)
[viii] MCL 28.425k(b)-(c)
[ix] MCL 28.425k (a)-(b)