On January 1, 2011, the new DWI/Sobriety Court Pilot Project Program will go into effect. It will apply to only those individuals convicted of two or more violations of operating a vehicle while intoxicated or while impaired. It will not apply to the individuals convicted of the following offenses:
MCL 257.625(2) — Authorizing or knowingly permitting another to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated
MCL 257.625(4) — OUIL causing death
MCL 257.625(5) — OUIL causing serious impairment/injury
MCL 257.625(6) — Driving under 21 with “any bodily alcohol content”, unless conviction of MCL 257.625(6) was from another state or a local ordinance and precedes one conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated or while impaired
MCL 257.625(7) — OWI with a passenger under the age of 16
MCL 257.625(8) – Operating with the presence of Schedule I drugs (Marijuana, Heroin, Ecstasy, LSD, GHB, etc.)
The new DWI/Sobriety Court Pilot Project Program will only be available to those individuals who are arrested on or after January 1, 2011 and who have access to Sobriety Court and installation of an interlock.
After the Secretary of State has received notification from the Sobriety Court judge of the DWI/Sobriety Court participant’s enrollment in Sobriety Court and his/her ignition interlock installation, the Secretary of State will issue a restricted license after 45 days. This restricted license will permit the participant to operate only the vehicle that is equipped with an ignition interlock device, to take any required driving skills tests, and to drive to and from any combination of the participant’s residence, workplace, or school and a court-ordered alcohol or drug education or treatment. It is important to note that this restricted license will not allow travel during the course of employment or travel to court hearings or probation appointments.
After the participant completes the DWI/Sobriety Court interlock pilot program, he/she retains a restricted license unless he/she operates a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device; removes, or causes to be removed, an ignition interlock device from a vehicle; is arrested for violating Section 625; is convicted or found responsible for any offenses that require the suspension, revocation, denial, or cancellation of the person’s operator’s or chauffeur’s license; or fails to pay any court-ordered fines or costs that resulted from the operation of a vehicle.
A restricted license will be effective until the Secretary of State issues an unrestricted license. An unrestricted license will not be issued by the Secretary of State until the Court notifies the Secretary of State that the participant has successfully completed the DWI/Sobriety Court program or the minimum period of license sanction otherwise required has been completed, whichever is later.
If the participant violates DWI/Sobriety Court Program or the interlock period the Secretary of State shall impose license sanctions and the driver will suffer the full length of the original suspension/revocation period.
All driver responsibility fees assessed by the Secretary of State for the convictions that led to the restricted license will be held in abeyance during the time the participant has a restricted license and is participating in the DWI/Sobriety Court Interlock Pilot Project. At the end of the person’s participation in the DWI/Sobriety Court Interlock Pilot Project, the driver responsibility fees will be assessed and required to be paid. Additionally, the vehicle of an individual admitted to the DWI/Sobriety court interlock pilot project program will be exempt from both immobilization and forfeiture if some conditions are met. First, he/she must remain in good standing with the DWI/Sobriety Court Pilot Project Program or successfully complete the program. Second, he/she must not subsequently violate a Michigan law for which vehicle immobilization or forfeiture is a sanction.
For full details regarding the new law, see MCL 257.304.
If you have any questions about your OWI/DWI/DUI charge contact Aida Spahic at (248) 624-5500