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The importance of having a driver’s license in America is undeniable — many of us are dependent on our cars to not only get us to and from work and school, but to keep our family on the go, the pantry stocked, and our households running.

While getting your driver’s license is a quintessential rite of passage in our country, it is also a privilege. Keeping your license means being responsible on the road by not endangering yourself and others. Receiving DUI convictions is one of the most common ways to have your license restricted or revoked in Michigan.

How does your license get revoked?

License revocation varies from state to state, but in Michigan, after your first DUI/OWI charge, you may face fines, jail time, and driver’s license restrictions, or temporary suspension. After multiple DUI/OWI charges, your license will be revoked, and your driving privileges are taken away indefinitely.

What is the difference between a revoked & restricted license?

With a restricted license, you can still operate a vehicle, albeit with conditions dictating when you can drive. More specifically, you can go to and from select places such as work, school, drug or alcohol treatment programs, and medical appointments. Additionally, your vehicle may need to be outfitted with an ignition interlock device to ensure you are sober when operating your vehicle.

On the other hand, a revoked license has an indefinite suspension and prevents you from legally operating a motor vehicle.

Can a revoked license be reinstated?

A revoked license can be restored in Michigan, but it won’t be reinstated automatically after a specific time, unlike a suspended license. You will need to go through one of two processes: either file for reinstatement with an administrative hearing at the Secretary of State or apply for restricted privileges from a judge if you are in sobriety court.

You must wait at least one year after your second DUI/OWI conviction to request a hearing to restore your license. If you receive subsequent alcohol related driving charges and your license is revoked again, you must wait for five years before applying to restore your license.

What is the process for getting my license back?

The one or five-year waiting periods are in place to give you time to address your substance or alcohol abuse issues that led to your DUI/OWI in the first place. In order to regain your license, you must submit sufficient evidence of your sobriety and ability to safely and responsibly operate a motor vehicle.

You can do a few things to make your case to the Secretary of State stronger, including attending support groups or Alcoholics Anonymous and counseling. Depending on your situation, counseling or group sessions may be required. In addition, passing a 10-panel drug screen and receiving letters of support from members of your community will help you strengthen your license reinstatement case.

After my license is reinstated, will there be restrictions?

At the initial license reinstatement hearings, the common goal is to provide the driver with restricted driving privileges. This typically means you must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, which requires you to submit a breathalyzer test every time you go to start your car. This device can also alert law enforcement if you attempt to start your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

After at least one year of driving with the ignition interlock device, you can request another hearing. During this second administrative hearing, you can ask for your license to be fully reinstated.

Need Help Restoring Your License After A DUI/OWI? We Can Help.

The Law Office of Roberto A. Bihar, PLLC, represents DUI cases, traffic violations, and more. To schedule a consultation, please call 248-383-8015 today.