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Detroit Legal Blog

Getting Your License Reinstated in Detroit After an OWI

Oct 09, 2019, by Maurice Davis in OWI, Traffic
Person getting their license back after OWI charge

If you have been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked for a period of time that depends on how many prior OWI convictions you have received in the past, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and whether or not you agreed to submit to a BAC test of your breath or urine.

You have the best chance of getting your license back and beating your OWI charge by contacting an OWI lawyer soon after your arrest. If you are caught driving without a license, you can face criminal penalties, including a fine or time in jail. At Davis Law Group, we offer a free initial consultation. You can contact us by calling (313) 818-3238 or use our online contact form.

Length of a Driver’s License Suspension in Detroit, Michigan

If your license has been suspended in Michigan, the length of time will depend on how many prior convictions you have for OWI within a certain period of time and whether or not you agreed to take a BAC test.

  • First Offense – 6 month suspension
  • High BAC OWI – 1 year suspension
  • BAC Test Refusal – 1 to 2 years, depending on whether or not it is your first refusal
  • Two or More OWI Convictions within 7 Years – Revocation for at least 1 year
  • Habitual OWI Offender – Revocation for at least 5 years

You are required to submit to a BAC test at the request of any certified law enforcement officer who suspects you are driving while intoxicated or impaired. This is known as “implied consent.” In exchange for the privilege to drive within the state, you agree to submit to BAC testing if you are legally arrested. Failure to do so will result in an additional charge of refusing a BAC test and a lengthier driver’s license suspension. You will not be allowed to get a restricted permit if you refuse BAC testing. You are not required by law to submit to roadside sobriety tests or sobriety field tests, only an official BAC test usually administered at the police station or jail by a person certified to do the test.

Requesting a Restricted Driver’s License

If your license has been suspended, you can request a restricted driver’s license from the Secretary of State. You may request a restricted permit to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and alcohol or drug treatment. What happens to your driver’s license is separate from what will happen in court since the suspension is an administrative penalty.

If you agreed to take a BAC test and were charged with OWI, you must wait 30 days after your driver’s license is suspended to request a restricted driver’s license. If you were charged with Operating While Visibly Impaired instead of OWI, there is no mandatory wait time. If you were caught driving with a BAC level of .17 or greater, you will be prohibited from obtaining a restricted license for at least 45 days after your license suspension goes into effect. This charge is called High BAC OWI.

If you are pulled over while driving with a restricted driver’s license, you may be asked to provide prove of your destination, your work or school schedule, and any other proof that you have a valid reason for driving with the restrictions that have been imposed. If you are caught driving in violation of restrictions, you may face an extension of your suspension or criminal penalties.

What to Do After the License Suspension Ends

After the driver’s license suspension period ends, you may request reinstatement of your driving privileges. You must pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back. For an OWI, you must pay a $125 reinstatement fee. For drug crimes, the fee is $250.

What if My License is Revoked?

If your license was revoked because of multiple convictions for OWI or numerous points on your driving record, the revocation can be permanent. You have the right to request a hearing regarding reinstatement of your driving privileges.

If your license has been revoked in one state, it will affect your right to drive in any other state. If you live in another state and your license was revoked in Michigan, you will probably need to request a hearing in Michigan. A Detroit attorney can assist you with the process of getting your license back even if it has been revoked for several years.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Detroit OWI Lawyer

If you have questions about your driver’s license after an OWI charge, talk to a lawyer about what to do next. Driving without a license is not worth the risk, and you may be eligible for a restricted driver’s license so that you can legally drive to work, school and medical appointments. Consult an OWI attorney at Davis Law Group by calling (313) 818-3238 or use our online contact form.