Category Archives: Driver's License

All You Need To Know About Michigan’s Interlock Ignition Device Law

The Law

If you have any of the following combination of drunk or drugged driving convictions, the law indicates that you are a Habitual Offender:

  • Two or more convictions within 7 years.
  • Three or more convictions within 10 years.

The Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver license of a Habitual Offender and deny his or her application for another license.

After the minimum period of revocation/denial, a Habitual Offender may be eligible for a driver license appeal hearing. If a restricted license is ordered, the hearing officer must require that the Habitual Offender install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device [BAIID] on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. The person cannot drive until the BAIID is properly installed and proof of installation is presented to a local Secretary of State branch office.

Beginning October 31, 2010, anyone with a restricted license that requires a BAIID must continue to drive with the device until the Secretary of State authorizes him or her to remove it.

How does an Interlock Ignition Device Work?

A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer, with computer logic and an internal memory. It connects with a motor vehicle’s ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content [BAC], and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is .025 or higher. The device will also ask for random retests while the person is driving [rolling retests].

If the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures in a monitoring period, or 1 rolling retest failure, or if it detects tampering, the vehicle must be taken to a service center immediately. If that service is not done, the BAIID will go into a “lock-out” mode, and the vehicle cannot be operated.

Test failures, tampering, or other BAIID-related violations will result in an extension of the time before the driver can ask for another driver license appeal hearing, or may require that the original license revocation/denial be reinstated.

So to put it simply: If you blow into your device and it detects alcohol, you’re not going anywhere and you’ll have to wait even longer to get your license back

How do I get a Interlock Ignition Device Installed?

The device must be installed by a vendor that is approved by the State of Michigan. A list of current vendors should be included with your driver’s license appeal order.

You may also visit this link to view a list of approved vendors http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-15719-70471–,00.html

Reports and Removal Authorization

If a hearing officer orders a restricted license for you with a BAIID requirement, you must drive under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at lest 1 full year.

If there are alcohol readings or other BAIID violations after the device is installed, your vendor will report them to the Secretary of State. As indicated before, the possible consequences of those reports may include an extension of the time before you can request another license appeal hearing, or the reinstatement of the original license revocation/denial.

When you are eligible, you may request a license appeal hearing to ask that the restrictions be removed from your license. At that hearing, you must present the report(s) from your BAIID provider(s) to prove that the device was installed for at least the minimum required length of time, and to establish whether there were any alcohol readings or other BAIID violations.

If your hearing was held, or your restricted license that requires a BAIID, was issued on or after October 31, 2010, you must keep the device on your vehicle until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove it.

What is considered an Interlock Ignition Device Violation?

Violations of the BAIID program for habitual offenders are divided into “minor” and “major” categories.

Minor Violations:

  • A driver has 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, it is a minor violation if the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures within a monitoring period. A start-up test failure means the BAIID has prevented the vehicle from starting. A monitoring period is the full length of time the BAIID is required to be properly installed.
  • If the driver fails to report the BAIID installer for servicing within 7 days after his or her scheduled monitoring date, it is a minor violation.

Major Violations:

  • Rolling retest violation:
    • Failing to take the rolling retest when prompted by the BAIID; or
    • The random retest detects a BAC of .025 or higher, and there is no subsequent sample with a BAC of less than .025 within 5 minutes.
  • An arrest or conviction for drunk and/or drugged driving.
  • Tampering with the BAIID.
  • Circumventing the BAIID.
  • Three minor violations within a monitoring period.
  • Removing the BAIID without having another device installed within 7 days, unless the Secretary of State has authorized the removal.
  • Operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID.
Consequences

Minor violations will result in a 3-month extension of the time before you may request another license appeal hearing.

Major violations will result in the immediate reinstatement of your original driver license revocation/denial. You may appeal that action to the DAAD. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted within 14 days after the effective date of the reinstatement.

Interlock Ignition Device + Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law
Effective October 31, 2010, the law requires tougher sanctions for a driver convicted for operating a vehicle with a BAC of .17 or higher, even if it is her or her first conviction.

If you are convicted of the High BAC crime, in addition to any penalties ordered by the court, your driver license will be suspended for 1 year. You will be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is installed on every vehicle you operate. The restrictions remain in effect for the remainder of the 1-year period, and until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove the BAIID, and until you pay a license reinstatement fee.

A High BAC offender has the option to keep the license suspension for the full year, and not have the BAIID installed. At the end of that year, if no other sanctions have been imposed, you may pay the license reinstatement fee and return to full driving.

If you decide that you want the restricted license, you will have 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, if monitoring of the BAIID reveals any instance of a .025 or higher BAC reading, you will receive another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and again be eligible for a restricted license after servicing 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

If you are arrested for driving without a properly installed BAIID, the law enforcement officer must impound the vehicle. If you own or co-own the vehicle, the officer must destroy the metal registration plate.

If you are convicted of operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID, there will be another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and you will again be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

For more about Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law click here 

For more information you can also visit Michigan’s Secretary of State website 

If you have questions about a driver’s license appeal or a DUI Charge contact Aida Spahic at (248) 624-5500 or  visit our website

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Italy Revokes Snooki’s Driver’s License: Do You Know Michigan’s Driver’s License Restoration Laws?

The 23-year-old, who’s currently filming MTV’s “Jersey Shore” in the country along with the rest of the reality show cast, was attempting to drive around Florence in a Fiat Multipla with “Shore” star Deena Cortese when she got into a minor car accident with a police vehicle. The cruiser, funnily enough, was an escort appointed for the cast’s security, according to People.

Since she played bumper cars with police, Italian authorities have revoked her license, and according to Us Weekly, she could face a civil suit.

Read the full story here

While many here in the States aren’t overly concerned about the guidette’s lost license, license revocation is a serious matter that has a huge impact on people’s lives.

In Michigan you may face a license suspension or a license revocation.  If  your license has been suspended it means that there is a set period of time during which you are not allowed to drive. At the end of the suspension period, you will simply need to pay the reinstatement fee and any applicable driver responsibility fees in order to get your license back.

A revocation is a more serious matter and at the end of your revocation period you must APPLY to get your license back.  This involves a hearing where you must prove why you deserve to get your driver’s license back.

If you have lost your driver’s license and need help getting back on the road call Aida Spahic

at (248) 624-5500

You may also view our website for forms and applications

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Michigan Considers Repeal of Driver’s Fees

Last week the Michigan House passed a four-bill package that will partially repeal portions of the state’s driver responsibility fee program that started in 2003.  This bill will pull back on some of the responsibility fees that come along with some traffic violations, but would leave the fees attached to drunk driving, reckless driving, and manslaughter.

It seems that our State Government is starting to adjust to our current economic status, but is this the right adjustment?  The state will lose more than $100 million per year if this new bill passes, but drivers will not have to decide between their license and paying their bills.

I understand that our state needs that $100 million and will probably look for that money in other areas.  Will we like how our State gets their funds?

On the other hand, I’ve also dealt with many clients that cannot afford to lose a license.  Most of them need money to get their license back, but cannot get to work without a license.  If they do not drive on a suspended license, they will lose their job and put themselves even father behind.

What do you think?

If you have a question about your driver’s license contact Aida Spahic at (248) 624-5500

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I refused the Datamaster Breath Test and my license will be suspended for one year? What should I do?

If you are arrested for drunk driving in Michigan, you will be required to take a chemical test (i.e., a breath test at the station/Datamaster) to determine your bodily alcohol content (BAC).  Under Michigan’s Implied Consent Law, all drivers are considered to have given their consent to this test.  This law does not apply to “PBT” testing, or roadside testing.  Refusing a PBT test is simply a fine up to $150.00 with no driver license sanctions or points.  However, persons under age 21 who refuse to take the PBT will receive two points on their driver record.  

If you refuse a chemical test, a police officer will fill out an “Officer’s Report of Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test”.

Refusal to consent to chemical tests will automatically result in a one year suspension for a first refusal and a two year suspension for a second refusal in seven years.  Also, six points will be added to your driving record and your license.  

A person who wishes to contest the Implied Consent refusal penalties must request a hearing in writing with the Driver License Appeal Division within 14 days of the officer’s notice of refusal.  A Request for Hearing can be found here.  Failure to request a hearing within 14 days will result in automatic suspension of your driving privileges.  If a timely request for hearing is made, the suspension is “stayed” until the matter is resolved at the DAAD hearing. 

At the hearing, the following four issues will be addressed:  

  • Did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe you committed the crime of drunk driving or another related offense? (See MCLA 257.625(c)(1) for the list of other offenses that are included under this section)
  • Were you placed under arrest for drunk driving (or another drunk-driving related offense listed in MCLA 257.625(c)(1))?
  • Did you reasonably refuse to submit to the chemical test offered to you by the officer?
  • Were you advised of your chemical test rights?

 

Whether or not you were actually driving drunk at the time is irrelevant.  Even if you prove in Court that you weren’t, the suspension for refusal will still stand.   

If the suspension does stand, and you wish not to contest the ruling of the Secretary of State, you will not be allowed to drive for any reason unless restricted driving is allowed by Circuit Court.  First offenders can petition Circuit Court for restricted license on the basis of hardship.  See MCL 257.323(3). You are simply asking the higher court to give you a permit to drive to and from work.  There are no hardship appeals for a restricted license on your second refusal.  Appeals have to be made to the Circuit Court for the County in which the petitioner was arrested.  They are to be filed within 63 days after the final determination is made (182 days if good cause is shown).   The Secretary of State must be notified not less than 20 days before the hearing date.  A hardship appeal will require a good substance abuse evaluation. 

If you wish to contest the ruling of the Secretary of State, you can file a meritorious appeal and ask the Circuit Court to overturn the Secretary of State’s decision completely.  Meritorious appeals have to be made to the Circuit Court for the County in which the petitioner was arrested.  They have to be filed within 63 days after the final determination is made (182 days if good cause is shown).  The Secretary of State must be notified not less than 50 days before the hearing date and any supporting documents must be filed at least 50 days prior to the hearing date.  The Circuit Court will only review the record prepared.  The record includes the transcript, the documentation presented at the hearing, and the hearing officer’s order or the driving record.  These documents will be reviewed to determine if the Secretary of State’s determination: 

  • was in violation of State of the Michigan or US Constitution, or
  • exceeds the statutory authority or jurisdiction, or
  • was based on unlawful procedure which was materially prejudicial, or
  • was not supported by the facts, or
  • was arbitrary, capricious or clearly an abuse of unwarranted exercise of discretion, or
  • if the decision was affected by substantial and material errors of law

 

If you lose your hardship appeal or your meritorious appeal, or if you simply do not take any actions after refusing the Datamaster breath test, your license will be suspended and continue to be suspended for one full year.  This suspension will be in addition to any suspension that results from your drunk driving case.  However, to the extent the two suspensions overlap, they will run concurrently.   

Good Luck!  If you have any questions, please contact Aida Spahic at 248.624.5500 or email her at aida@ambroselawgroup.com.

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What Questions Will I Be Asked at My Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Hearing?

As you prepare for you driver license restoration hearing at the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), make sure to reviewDriver's License Restoration the following questions.

These questions, and questions similar to them, will help the hearing officer decide whether or not you deserve to get your license back.  Please keep in mind that these questions are just general questions that are asked at the hearing either by your attorney, if you choose to bring one, or by the hearing officer. Do not solely rely on these questions.  They are intended to be used only as a guide in preparation for your hearing.

Each case is unique.  Some cases may require your attorney and/or hearing officer to pose questions not listed below.  Before your hearing make sure you are prepared to answer questions like these for the best possible outcome of your case. Good luck! If you have any questions call or email me, I have helped many clients get back on the road and I’d be happy to use my experience to help you!

Aida@ambroselawgroup.com or 248-624-5500

Background:

  • Please state your full name and spell your last name.
  • How old are you?
  • Are you married? Are you dating anyone?
  • Do you have any children?
  • Where do you live?  How long have you lived there?
  • Do you live with anyone?
  • What is your educational background?

Employment:

  • Are you currently employed?
  • If so, who is your current employer?
    • What type of work do you do? What are your job responsibilities?
    • How long have you worked for that company?
    • Any problems? Ever been disciplined?
    • State the distance of employment from you residence.
    • Testify as to your means of transportation to and from work.
  • If not, why not?
    • Are you currently seeking employment?
    • Do you have any job offers pending?

Drunk Driving Convictions:

  • In what years did you get pulled over for drunk driving?
  • Do you remember your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for the first drunk driving offense? For the second? Third?
  • Do you have anything pending against you in court?
  • Are you on probation?
    • If yes, how long have you been probation?
    • When do you get off probation?
    • What are you conditions of probation?
    • What conditions have you completed?
    • Have you ever violated probation for any reason?
  • Did you ever serve any jail time for you drunk driving convictions?
    • If yes, did you have any thoughts while in jail?
    • Did you take any actions regarding your thoughts?

Driving Habits:

  • Have you driven for any reason while your license has been revoked/suspended?
  • Who drives you around?
  • How does that make you feel?
  • Did you have any traffic offenses on your driving record while your license has been revoked/suspended?
  • Do you have any pending or outstanding traffic matters?
  • Do you have any pending or outstanding criminal matters?

Treatment:

  • At some point, did you begin attending AA?
  • When?
  • Do you still continue to attend AA?
  • How often?
  • If on probation, are you ordered to attend AA by court?
    • How many times are you required to go by the Court?
  • Where do you go for the AA sessions?
  • At what time of day do you go?
  • What are you learning?
  • How far are the AA locations you attend from your house?
  • How do you get to AA?
  • Do you have a sponsor?
    • If yes, for how long have you had one?
    • How would you describe your relationship with your sponsor?
  • Did you ever enroll in any type of substance abuse outpatient program?
  • Explain what types of things were you required to do in order to successfully complete the program?
  • What type of things did you learn while in the program?
  • Did you come to a conclusion that you were an alcoholic?
  • Do you think that you are?
  • Do you have any reservations about making that declaration?
    • Are your family and friends aware that you are an alcoholic?
    • Are they supportive?
    • If yes, how so?
    • Do you allow alcohol in your house?
    • Did you have any alcohol since _____?
    • Are you familiar with the 12 steps to recovery?
    • Are you familiar with the _____ step?
    • What does that involve doing?
    • What steps did you complete?
    • Are you familiar with the _____ step?
    • What does that involve doing?
    • Do you have a favorite step?
    • Do you see AA in your future?  Explain.

Drinking Habits:

  • When was the last time you used alcohol?
  • What was the occasion?
  • Who were you associating with at the time?
  • Do you still associate with those people?
  • What made you stop drinking?
    • When you did drink, what were your drinking habits? How did that affect your life?
    • Now that you have been sober since _____, what are you days like now?

Drugs:

  • Have you ever taken any illegal drugs?
  • Do you have any drug convictions on your record?

Social Functions:

    • Have you attended any social functions since the date of your sobriety?
    • Was alcohol served at any of these functions?
    • Did you drink alcohol?
    • How did you manage to avoid alcohol?
    • Where were you at Christmas?  New Year’s Eve?

Additional Questions:

    • Do you go to church/mosque?
    • Did you ever make any conscious effort to stay sober before?
    • What assurances can you give us that you are not going to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel again?
    • Now that you have been sober since ____, do you think that you are healthier?
    • Any other benefits?
    • Any weak moments? If so, what did you do?
    • Have you ever consumed any non-alcohol drinks?
    • Do you have wine glasses in your house?

Ambrose Law Group

248-624-5500

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All You Need To Know About Michigan Driver’s License Restoration: How To Get Your Michigan Driver’s License Back

I lost my privilege to drive due to multiple drunk driving offenses.  How do I get it back?

A person whose license is revoked due to multiple drunk driving offenses must apply for a hearing before the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD – formerly known as the DLAD) for re-licensure.  The driver’s eligibility date for a DAAD hearing can be found on his/her driving record.

  • A person with two alcohol related driving offenses within 7 years must wait one full year from the last conviction to be eligible to apply.
  • A person with 3 or more alcohol related driving offenses within lifetime must wait 5 years from their last conviction to be eligible.

The Secretary of State rules are very specific with respect to the issuance of a driver’s license.  These rules cannot be modified and are set forth in Rule 13.

In order to request a hearing, you will need to submit a written request along with the substance abuse evaluation to DAAD.  This can be done at the following address or fax number:

  • Driver Assessment and Appeal Division
  • P.O. Box 30196
  • Lansing, MI 48909-7696
  • Fax: (517) 335-2190

Both the request for hearing and substance abuse evaluation forms are available on the secretary of state website (www.michigan.gov/sos) and on our website (www.ambroselawgroup.com)

The substance abuse evaluation must be filled out by a licensed substance abuse counselor.  Evaluations range in price from about $250.00 to $450.00.   The request for a hearing with a current substance abuse evaluation must not be dated more than 3 months before the date it will be received by the DAAD.

In addition to submitting a substance abuse evaluation, you will need to bring 4-6 community support letters to verify abstinence from alcohol.  The same exact sobriety date must be explicitly stated in all letters.  The letters must be notarized and must include specific information regarding your history concerning alcohol, past and present.  The letters should come from a cross-section of the persons’ life.  Consider asking your friends, family members, fellow AA members, teachers, or co-workers to write letters for you.  Sample letters can be found here.

Additionally, you must bring documentation of participation in a support group, such as AA.  You should get the attendance sheet as well as signatures from members of your groups to support your DAAD hearing.  An   Hearing officers like to see consistent involvement in AA, at least twice a week, for at least one year, or involvement in structured and consistent substance abuse counseling.  You MUST be familiar with the 12 steps of AA!  If you are looking for AA locations near you, please click here.

This documentation is necessary to prove by “clear and convincing” evidence that your alcohol problem is under control and likely to remain under control, the likelihood that you will again drink and drive is low or minimal, and that you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.  Rule 13 states that you must prove to the hearing officer that you have not used alcohol for at least 6 months; however, in reality, in order to win your hearing you must prove abstinence from alcohol for at least one full year.

If you win your DAAD hearing you be will required to have an ignition interlock device placed in your car for one full year and will only be granted restricted driving privileges.  After one year, you will be required to request another hearing in order to get full restoration.

If you don’t win your DAAD hearing, you basically have two options:

  • Wait one full year to obtain a new hearing OR
  • Appeal the hearing officer’s determination to the Circuit Court.

The appeal must be filed within 63 days of the determination by the Secretary of State (182 days with a showing of good cause).  The Secretary of State must be notified not less than 50 days before the hearing date and any supporting documents must be filed at least 50 days prior to the hearing date.  The Circuit Court will only review the record prepared. The record includes the transcript, the documentation presented at the hearing, and the hearing officer’s order or the driving record.  These documents will be reviewed to determine if the Secretary of State’s determination:

  • was in violation of State of the Michigan or US Constitution, or
  • exceeds the statutory authority or jurisdiction, or
  • was based on unlawful procedure which was materially prejudicial, or
  • was not supported by the facts, or
  • was arbitrary, capricious or clearly an abuse of unwarranted exercise of discretion, or
  • if the decision was affected by substantial and material errors of law

Good Luck!  If you have any questions, please contact Aida Spahic at 248.624.5500 or email her at aida@ambroselawgroup.com.

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Look Out! Teen Driver! Michigan’s Graduated Driver’s License

It’s one of the first big milestones in every teenager’s life. Getting your Driver’s license!  Everyone wants to be the first among their friends to pull into the school parking lot behind the wheel of what is probably mom’s car.  My youngest sister literally spends ten minutes a day having an anxiety attack because she is the only one left in her group of friends that doesn’t have her license yet.   But driving is a big responsibility and it shouldn’t be rushed.  There are too many stories of teen driver’s killed in accidents that could have been prevented.  Every year over 5,000 teenagers die as a result of car accidents, and another 400,000 are seriously injured.

In this 2008 story three Lanse Creuse students were killed in a crash in Chesterfield township. The story is still being played out in court and is a reminder of the way a simple ride with friends can become tragic.

Michigan is on the forefront in reducing teenage driving accidents. The Michigan Graduated Driver’s License system is designed to educate and supervise young drivers to reduce accidents. The system has three segments, which gives teens restricted driving privileges until age 17.

Segment 1: Driver’s Training
To pass this stage, the driver needs to attend at least 24 hours of driver education classes, log at least 6 hours behind the wheel with an instructor, and at least 4 hours of in car observation. This can be done in the public school system or at a private driver education course. The driver needs to be at least 14 years and 8 months old to begin this stage.

After this stage, the driver is given a supervised learner license. They can drive, but only with a licensed adult in the car. During this stage the driver must log at least 30 hours of supervised driving over three months.

Segment 2: Defensive Driving

To pass this stage, the driver needs to be at least 16 years old, attend at least 6 hours of defense driver training, pass a written examination, log at least 50 hours of supervised driving, with 10 night hours, and pass a driver’s skill test.

After this stage, the driver is given an intermediate learner license. They can drive alone, but unsupervised night time driving is limited.

Segment 3: Full Driver Privilege

After completion of the first two stages, reaching 17 years old, and not having any accidents the driver will have full driver privileges to drive unsupervised.

For a full chart on the Graduated License System, click Michigan Graduated License System[1]

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