In the past, people who made a single mistake by driving drunk would have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. For many, that meant being passed up for jobs or dealing with other lingering effects of having a DUI conviction on their record. Now, thanks to a new law signed by Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, people with a single drunk driving offense may be able to expunge their records.
The two new bills, HB 4219 and HB 2220, received bipartisan support from Michigan legislators. The bills were signed into law on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021, by Governor Whitmer. Previously, Whitmer had pocket vetoed similar legislation. This time, however, she supported the change and said, “No one should be defined by a mistake they have made in the past.”
This law follows a wave of new expungement opportunities in Michigan for people to clear their criminal records.
Who Can Have Their DUI Convictions Expunged?
An article from Detroit Free Press states that this new law will impact hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state, allowing them to start fresh with a clean record. The new law allows people with only one DUI offense to seek an expungement. Repeat offenders are not eligible under this law.
People with a single conviction for any of the following crimes may pursue expungement:
- Driving with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08;
- Driving while visibly impaired due to any substance;
- Anyone who is younger than 21 driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or higher;
- Driving under the influence of any amount of cocaine or other schedule 1 controlled substances.
While more people are now eligible, the process for seeking an expungement is still complex. If you have one drunk or impaired driving conviction on your record, you may want to talk to an experienced attorney to learn how you can take advantage of this new law.