What Happens to Your Driver’s License After an OWI?

Criminal Law
Driver's License Restoration
What Happens to Your Driver’s License After an OWI?

What Happens to Your Driver’s License After an OWI?

by Van Den Heuvel Law Office

After a conviction for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI), you will definitely lose your driver’s license. Depending on the charge, you may lose your driver’s license temporarily or permanently. This is sometimes one of the most devastating consequences of an OWI, as you likely rely on your license and your vehicle to go to work or school, go to doctor’s appointments, and attend your child’s extra-curricular activities. Understanding what will happen to your license can help relieve your anxiety, as often there is something you can do about it.

Different OWI Offenses that Affect Your Driver’s License

There are many ways you can lose your driver’s license if you are suspected of, or convicted of, an OWI. These include:

  • Refusing a chemical test: Michigan operates under implied consent laws. This means that any time a driver gets behind the wheel, they have already given consent to these tests. If you refuse to submit to these tests, you will lose your driver’s license for at least one year.
  • First OWI conviction: If you are convicted of an OWI and it is your first offense, you will lose your driver’s license for at least six months.
  • Subsequent OWI convictions in seven years: Two or more OWI convictions in seven years, and three convictions within ten years, will result in a driver’s license suspension between one and five years.
  • Super drunk OWI: If you are convicted of an OWI and have a BAC of 0.17 or more, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year.

Although a driver’s license suspension is frightening, there are options that can allow you to still drive.

Driving on a Restricted License

In some situations, you may be able to drive on a restricted driver’s license. Although this allows you to drive, as the name suggests, it does come with some restrictions. When on a restricted license, you can drive to:

  • Work
  • School
  • Probation 
  • Court
  • Substance abuse treatment programs
  • Medical appointments

To drive on a restricted license, you must carry proof of your destination, the hours you work, classes you are enrolled in, and proof of any other reason you are driving.

How to Get Your Driver’s License Back

Once your driver’s license is suspended, there is little you can do to have it reinstated. However, after the suspension expires, most people will be often to pay a reinstatement fee if they have met certain conditions of their suspension and get their license back.

Our Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help with Your License

If you have lost your driver’s license due to an OWI, you need the help of a Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer to get it back. At Van Den Heuvel Law Office, we know the steps to take that will help you get your driver’s license back so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible. Call us or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.



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