In Michigan, two OWI/DUI convictions for alcohol or drugs will require a one (1) year revocation of a person’s driver’s license. However, a restricted driver’s license may be granted to a second DUI offender only if that person participates in an approved Michigan 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. Additionally, driver’s responsibility fees don’t need to be paid until the program is completed.
Acceptance Into Sobriety Court
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’re 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 isn’t by any means easy, and there are eligibility requirements that vary with each court that must be met for acceptance into the program.
a criminal history that doesn’t include a conviction of a felony violent crime.
When You Are Enrolled in Sobriety Court
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.
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.
Sobriety Court Is Not Everywhere
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’ll either be stuck with the minimum one (1) 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’re allowed to keep their driver’s license.