26 August 2021

Michigan Extends Clean Slate Laws to Include Drunk Driving Convictions

Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4219 and 4220 into law on August 23, 2021. These bills amend the Clean Slate laws passed in October of 2020 and allow for expungement of convictions for first time offenders of operating while intoxicated (OWI) under certain circumstances. Under these amendments, non-repeat OWI offenders may utilize the Clean Slate laws, which would allow an estimated 200,000 non-repeat OWI offenders to have the opportunity for a second chance at a clean record.

Individuals are eligible for record expungement for convictions of:

  • Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more;
  • Operating a vehicle while visibly impaired by alcohol or other controlled substance;
  • Operating a vehicle under the age of 21 with a BAC of .02 or more; and
  • Operating a vehicle with any bodily amount of cocaine or a schedule 1 controlled substance.

However, an individual is not eligible if:

  • It is not a first time conviction;
  • The offense was committed while operating a commercial motor vehicle; or
  • The offense caused injury or death.

An individual seeking expungement must petition the court to set aside the conviction for a first time violation of operating while intoxicated offense. The reviewing court may then consider whether the individual has participated in rehabilitative or educational programs. The court may deny the petition if it is not convinced that the individual has participated in or benefitted from these programs. The order that sets aside the conviction does not remove or expunge the conviction from the individual’s driving record maintained by the secretary of state.

The amendatory act goes into effect on February 19, 2022. More information on the Clean Slate Law can be found here. The full text of these amendatory bills can be found in the links below.

Miller Johnson attorneys are prepared to assist clients in determining eligibility under the Clean Slate Bills and these new amendatory bills. Contact your Miller Johnson attorney for more information or visit Miller Johnson’s Criminal Law Practice Group to find an attorney.