Avoid a license suspension after a second OWI/DUI by completing a Michigan Sobriety Court Program

Michigan State and Federal Courts Lawyer

In Michigan, two OWI DUI convictions for alcohol or drugs will require a one year revocation of a person’s driver’s license.   However, a restricted driver’s license may be granted to a OWI 2nd offender only if that person participates in an approved sobriety court program.  Another perk of going through the sobriety court is that a participant is exempt from any mandatory vehicle immobilization or forfeiture laws and driver’s responsibility fees do not need to be paid until the program is completed.

Acceptance into the sobriety court requires an OWI or DUI conviction either through a plea or after trial.  Remember, sobriety court is a post-adjudication program.  By pleading guilty you are giving up your right to fight your case in exchange for the ability to keep your license and to get serious substance abuse help.

Sobriety court is an intensive probation program that puts the emphasis on recovery from alcoholism or substance abuse rather than punishment.  The program is not by any means easy and there are eligibility requirements that vary with each court that must be met for acceptance into the program in the first place.   Typical eligibility requirements include county residency requirements, minimum number of convictions and a criminal history that does not include a conviction of a felony violent crime.

Once in the program, the participant may be subject to frequent alcohol or drug testing,  Alcohol Anonymous meetings, counseling, home visits, random searches of their home, and review hearings before the Judge every two weeks.  Further, the participant will be responsible for paying all costs associated with the program, which typically exceed $2,000.00 by its completion.

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After 45 days in the program, the Court often allows a restricted driver’s license with the installation of an interlock device on the participant’s vehicle.  If a participant fails to comply with all the requirements of the sobriety court, the probation can be revoked and the one year license revocation will be reinstated along with probable jail time.

It’s important to understand that not all jurisdictions run a sobriety court.  If you happen to get arrested in a jurisdiction that doesn’t have one you will either be stuck with the minimum one year license revocation or you will need an experienced attorney to help convince the Judge to allow you to be sentenced in another jurisdiction that actually has the program.

Sobriety Court can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.  A person gets the substance abuse treatment that they truly need and in return they are allowed to keep their driver’s license.  If you have been charged with a second OWI in Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb County cities of Royal Oak, Southfield, Warren, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Rochester Hills, or any of its surrounding communities and are interested in the Sobriety Court program call an attorney at the Law Office of Barton Morris today.

For a comprehensive list of Michigan’s Sobriety Courts  click here.


Attorney Morris has enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a trial lawyer providing high quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for 19 years. He is known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he is dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is prepared to take on complex legal issues with success. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.

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Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has also graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.

Barton Morris was chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit for 2012, 2013 & 2014 for DUI/DWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. Barton Morris was also chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2014-2017 and Barton Morris is the only Lawyer in Michigan designated by the American Chemical Society as a “Forensic Lawyer-Scientist”

January 11th, 2014|