How Much Time Does It Take to Get My Driver’s License Back After It’s Revoked?

When facing an accusation of operating while intoxicated, many people worry about whether they are going to go to jail, or how much it’s going to cost them. It’s also important, particularly for people who have already been convicted of a driving offense in the past, to consider what impact a new criminal conviction for drunk driving will have on their driver’s license. If the license is revoked, it could be a long time before one can legally drive again.

If an individual has a prior conviction for Operating While Impaired or Intoxicated, or certain other convictions listed in MCL 257.625, a second conviction of one of those crimes can result in serious sanctions on a driver’s license. If the second conviction is within seven years of the first conviction, or if there is a third conviction within ten years, the driver’s license will be revoked. For instance, if an individual was convicted of Person Under 21 Operating with BAC (also known as Zero Tolerance) when they were 20 years old, a conviction for Operating While Intoxicated when they are 25 years old will cause a license revocation. Any combination of applicable convictions under the statute will cause a revocation, except that only one conviction of Zero Tolerance can be included in the combination.

After a revocation, an individual must make a formal request for reinstatement of driving privileges in order to drive legally. Unlike a definite suspension, there is no end date for a revocation. It continues until the individual requests a hearing and is granted driving privileges. On a first revocation, the requestor must wait until at least a year has passed. Although, as a practical matter, it is often beyond a year before a person should request a hearing if there is any hope of success. Any subsequent revocations within seven years of a prior revocation will be for a minimum of five years.

In order for an individual to get his or her driver’s license back following a revocation, he or she must prove that they have been sober for the minimum period of time required and that any abuse or dependence issues are under control. The minimum period of time depends on the individual circumstances. The minimum period is 6 months, unless evidence requires a longer period of sobriety.

Evidence requiring a longer period of sobriety may include: having twice the legal limit of blood alcohol content, having three or more substance-abuse related convictions, relapsing after attempting to get the problem under control, being diagnosed by a professional as dependent on alcohol or controlled substances, or having a prior revocation or denial of a driver’s license. These scenarios are very common, and if one is present, the minimum period of sobriety is at least one year. The period of sobriety should be beyond what was required of the individual during incarceration or probation. So, if an individual is on probation for a year, he or she should wait an additional year while continuing his or her sobriety unsupervised by the court before requesting a hearing.

If the individual is successful at the hearing and a restricted license is granted, he or she will be required to only drive with an ignition interlock device properly installed in the car. The ignition interlock device can detect alcohol and will not allow the car to start if a positive alcohol reading is detected. The restricted license requires that the driver operate with the device for a year before he or she can request a license that is not restricted. If there is a violation while driving with the ignition interlock, the time required to keep the interlock in the vehicle can be extended by at least three months at a time. If the violation is a major one, such as tampering with the device, the license can be re-revoked and the whole process starts over again.

Following multiple convictions for drunk driving, it will likely be years before full driving privileges are restored. It’s important to consider this in deciding what to do when facing charges for drunk driving and in evaluating possible outcomes of a case. So, whether you are facing charges involving drinking and driving, or you are considering your options following a revocation of your license, give Blanchard Law a call at 616-773-2945 to discuss your case. We have the knowledge and expertise to handle your case.

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