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Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, October 12, 2015

“Habitual Alcohol Offenders” under Michigan Law

What is a “habitual alcohol offender” and why does it matter?

Under Michigan law, a “habitual alcohol offender” is a designation given to a person who satisfies certain criteria. Once a person is labeled as a “habitual alcohol offender,” the individual's driver’s license must be revoked, and can only be reissued upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.

The designation is given to those who have two of the following convictions within 7 years, or three of the following within 10 years:

  1. Operation of a vehicle while intoxicated
  2. Operation of a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both
  3. Operation of a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or greater
  4. Operation of a vehicle while under the age of 21 with any alcohol present in the body other than alcohol present due to a generally recognized religious ceremony

According to this definition, “intoxicated” means that one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or greater. Note that only one conviction of the fourth type (4) can be counted. Also important to note is that a conviction under a local code or a similar code from another jurisdiction can be used to satisfy the combination.

The consequence of such a designation depends on whether the person has had their license revoked in the past. If this is the person’s first license revocation, the license is revoked for one year. If it's a subsequent revocation or denial within 7 years, the revocation lasts for a minimum of 5 years.

Once a person's license has been revoked under this provision, he or she must wait until the revocation period has expired before applying for reinstatement. In order to be considered for a driver’s license again, the person must attend a hearing in Michigan's Driver Appeal and Assessment Division of the Secretary of State. At the hearing, the habitual alcohol offender must prove to the hearing officer that she or he is no longer a threat to other drivers on the road. The Hearing Officer has the authority to issue a restricted driver’s license, or a full driver’s license, depending upon the proof offered. Restricted driver’s licenses are commonly used to allow the habitual alcohol offender to drive to and from the individual's place of employment, and to other strictly necessary destinations.

If you reside in Michigan and are concerned you may be a “habitual alcohol offender,” you should seek an experienced attorney to represent you. Call Martin T. Lievois, Attorney at Law, at either his Troy office: 248-419-1566 or his Flint office: 810-250-4550.


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| Phone: 810-232-3223
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| Phone: 248-498-2525

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