Upon conviction for a DUI in Michigan, the Department of State assesses points to the driving record. A conviction for either Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) or Operating with a High Bodily Alcohol Content comes with 6 points, whereas a conviction for Operating While Visibly Impaired (OWVI) has 4 points. Points from offenses arising out of the same event cannot be combined. For instance, a person stopped by the police for running a red light (which is a 3-point offense) who ends up getting arrested for OWI (a 6-point offense), cannot be assessed points for both. Instead, the Michigan Department of State will assess the higher of the points. Thus, instead of receiving 9 points, the driver will receive 6.
How does the Michigan Department of State assess DUI driving record points?
Points assessed by the Michigan Department of State stay on a driving record for 2 years. This means that points from any other offenses within 2 years will be added together. A word of caution: too many points within a short period of time can result in the Michigan Department of State scheduling a re-examination hearing and suspending or restricting the driver license!
The points assessed by the Michigan Department of State are different than points assessed by insurance companies. Most insurance companies have their own scale and may assess greater or fewer points for the same offense than the Department of State. Similarly, the points assessed by insurance companies usually stay on for 3 years. Thus, it’s s good idea for a driver to check with their own insurance company to find out if their insurance premiums will increase and for how long.
How long does a DUI affect a Driver License?
Although the points assessed by the Michigan Department of State for a DUI only stay on a driving record for 2 years, the license implications can last substantially longer. 2 DUI convictions within 7 years results in an indefinite driver license revocation. Only after a minimum period of 1 year does a driver become eligible for restoration of the driver license. The driver license restoration process is very particular and many drivers who don’t have an experienced attorney helping them end up going years and years without getting their license back.
Likewise, a Michigan driver who has 3 DUI convictions with 10 years will have their license indefinitely revoked. The driver will become eligible for a driver license restoration only after a minimum of 5 years. Of course, without an experienced attorney helping them, it could be much longer than that. Even when the driver wins the driver license appeal hearing, the license comes with restrictions including mandatory installation of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device on the vehicle. Thus, even though the Michigan Department of State points come off after 2 years, the potential future ramifications are great! Learn the most important requirement for getting for Michigan’s driver license back after revocation.
Does a DUI stay on your driving record forever?
Unfortunately in Michigan, any and all moving violations, including DUIs, stay on a driving record indefinitely. Although the points come off after a set period of time, the offense itself does not. And unlike non-moving violations, there is no ability to expunge the record.
However, consulting an experienced driver license restoration attorney is imperative for any chance of restoring your driving privileges. Contact us today for a case consultation to see if you’re eligible for driver license restoration.
Charlotte Steffen specializes in criminal defense and driver’s license restorations. She has been practicing law for nearly 20 years. Her experience includes thousands of criminal cases, including capital offenses and high profile cases. She began her career at the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit, handling the toughest felonies in Wayne County. She went into private practice in 2002 and has continued helping those who need it most.
Charlotte is an adjunct law professor at the Detroit Mercy Law School in the Criminal Trial Clinic. She supervises student attorneys and lectures on drunk driving and driver’s license issues. She is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan in which she helps train lawyers to become trial lawyers.