As of January 1, 2011, the Michigan Sobriety Court was born. Sobriety court is a sentencing alternative primarily used for those who have been convicted of two or more drinking and driving offenses. While the program tends to be strict, time consuming, and lengthy it provides many benefits to its participants.
Not all courts in Michigan have a sobriety court. The 35th District Court in Plymouth, which has jurisdiction over Plymouth, Canton, and Northville does have a sobriety court program. Probation agent, Jim Hand, oversees the program. The program is ran incredibly well and has provided a major benefit to many citizens of the community.
Drinking and Driving Second Offense
A second offense for drinking and driving offense in Michigan carries significant penalties. If the second offense is within seven years of the first offense then the person’s license is revoked, meaning that their license is gone forever or until they have a special hearing to have it back. The special hearing occurs at the Secretary of State and can only be requested after a full year has passed since the conviction. There is no guarantee that the person will get their license back at the hearing; in fact, most do not. If the person loses the hearing they are not eligible for another hearing for a year. A successful hearing will usual result in a restrict license with a BAIID, or “blow and go”.
Vehicle forfeiture and vehicle immobilization are also ordered for a second offense conviction. Vehicle forfeiture is a forced sale where an immobilization requires that a boot be put on the car so that it cannot be driven, this is done at the owner’s expense.
5 days of jail time is mandatory for a drinking and driving second offense conviction where at least 48 hours has to be served consecutively.
Sobriety Court for Drinking Drivers
One major benefit for a person charged with a second offense DUI entering the sobriety court program is that they have an opportunity for a restricted driver license after a 45-day suspension with a BAIID. At the end of a year and completion of sobriety court the person can then request a hearing for a full license.
The vehicle immobilization and forfeiture statute no longer apply to the individual in sobriety court.
Sobriety court can also save the participant from the 5 days of mandatory jail time, a major benefit for someone that could lose their job or has kids at home.
The other obvious benefit is that the participant gets the benefit of alcohol education and counseling that they may need.
DUI Lawyer Aaron J Boria
Aaron J Boria is a criminal lawyer located in downtown Plymouth on Penniman Avenue. For more information about Aaron and his practice visit his website bio page or check out The Law Firm of Aaron J. Boria, PLLC, Facebook.