Michigan does not use Driving Under the Influence (DUI) instead alcohol and drug-related driving offenses are Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). DUI/OWI refers to the same conduct. An OWI can be charged based on driving while impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other controlled substance. OWIs are reported on two important records; driving records and criminal records. Driving records are maintained by the Secretary of State, and criminal records are maintained by the Michigan State Police. Some criminal offenses such as OWIs appear on both records. A first or second OWI offense in Michigan is a misdemeanor, and a third OWI is a felony.
Conviction and Record from DUI/OWI
An OWI conviction results in 6 points on your driving record, if you obtain 12 points in a 2-year period the Secretary of State may require a re-examination for you to keep your license. A lesser charge, Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) also appears on both records but only adds 4 points to your driving record.
An OWI or OWVI conviction stays on your driving record permanently. An OWI or OWVI conviction remains on your criminal record permanently unless it is expunged. Prior to February 23, 2022, OWI offenses were not expungable however the law changed allowing judges to expunge OWIs under certain conditions. Only a first OWI or OWVI conviction can be expunged. Our office has successfully expunged many OWI convictions from clients’ criminal records. If you obtain a second OWI offense it will permanently remain on both your driving record and criminal record.
In addition to remaining on your record an OWI or OWVI conviction will result in driver’s license sanctions. An OWI conviction will result in a minimum license suspension of 30 days. An OWVI conviction will result in a minimum of 90 days of restricted driving.
If you get 2 OWI convictions within a 7-year period the Secretary of State will revoke your driver’s license indefinitely. If your license is revoked you will have to go through the Secretary of State’s driver’s license restoration procedures.
If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) a first OWI conviction in your personal vehicle will suspend your CDL for 1 year. If you obtain a second OWI conviction within 7 years of another OWI conviction your CDL will be revoked for a minimum of 10 years.
License Suspension From DUI/OWI
A suspension is the loss of driving privileges for a fixed period of time after which your driving privileges are automatically restored. A revocation is the loss of driving privileges indefinitely and require a restoration process before you can legally obtain a driver’s license. In Michigan, your license can simultaneously be suspended and revoked. You are not eligible to restore a revoked license until the fixed suspension period has passed.
OWIs carry collateral consequence such as increased automobile insurance and limitations on gun rights. An OWI conviction makes you ineligible to obtain a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) for 8 years. If you have a CPL it will be revoked upon conviction and you are not eligible to reapply for 8 years. An OWVI conviction makes you ineligible for a CPL for 3 years.
It is important to hire legal counsel immediately if you are charged with an OWI to protect your rights. The Law Offices of Barton Morris’s Criminal Defense Team, is successful because our attorneys are not only accomplished criminal defense attorneys, they are also accomplished in trial cases. Hire the team with a 100% success rate in reducing criminal charges.