Types of Licenses Awarded at AHS Hearings in Lansing
Having your license revoked or suspended can make your life extremely difficult. You might have a hard time finding work without a car to take you to interviews or you might have trouble holding down the job you have. Some drivers with revoked or suspended licenses cannot get a car insurance carrier, or if they do, they must pay high premiums in order to be covered.
For Michigan residents, the road to getting back a driver's license is long, but if you chose to go before the Administrative Hearings Section (AHS) you may be able to win back a restricted license when you and your lawyer appeal.
This is the first step in getting your full license privileges returned, but what is the next step? What types of licenses could the state grant you after you win your appeal?
In Lansing, the types of licenses you can receive at your AHS hearing are mostly dependent on your living situation. Residents and nonresidents are treated differently by the system.
Full-time Michigan residents will be able to drive on a restricted license for no less than one year. The state will also order an ignition interlock be installed on your car, which means that you will have to pass a breathalyzer test before you can even start the engine. After at least one year, you must file one more appeal, at which time the state will consider removing the ignition interlock from your vehicle and decide to grant you a full license.
The out-of-state process is very similar, but you do need to be aware of a few key differences. There is no in-between for out-of-state drivers. You either get your full license or you do not; there is no restricted driving. If you lose your out-of-state petition for a license, you can file an appeal hearing for which you will have to appear in person.
Types of Michigan Resident Licenses
Assuming you win your appeal, the state will grant you one of two different types of licenses: a time-based or purpose-based license. No matter which one you are awarded, you will still have to have the ignition interlock installed on your vehicle.
More than likely, the state will grant you a purpose-based license, as it is most common. With this license, you have the state's permission to use your vehicle for certain purposes, such as driving to and from your job, school, counseling sessions or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings. You may also drive for any employment training or to seek medical treatment should you need to visit a doctor or the emergency room.
There is no time restriction with a purpose-based license, so theoretically, you could drive all day if you were working or training for your job at multiple locations. If a police officer does stop you, you will need to prove you were driving for any of the purposes outlined by the state.
Time-based licenses are, as the name implies, time restricting. The state will set a time period during which you are allowed to drive. If you are caught driving at other times during the day, you will face serious consequences. These hours will be based on your individual case.
What is really difficult about this license is that it does not allow for any flexibility. If your employers asks you to stay late or you need to get to a hospital, you still cannot get behind the wheel. Someone else must come and pick you up.
The state rarely ask defendants which type of license they would prefer, but in the rare chance you are given the option, the purpose-based license is usually considered the better option. You are allowed to drive at any time, and if you do have an emergency, you will not need to worry about who is behind the wheel.
After the First Appeal
Many defendants assume that if they win the first appeal, they will surely win the second and be awarded full driving privileges. This, however, is not always the case. Michigan lawmakers work hard to keep the streets safe from reckless and drunk drivers; therefore the process of reinstating a license is more difficult.
At the second appeal, you must prove that you complied with the state's orders and met all the necessary requirements. The ignition interlock device company will need to present a final report, highlighting any incidents during which you tried to start your car with any presence of alcohol. You will also need to show the state that you have sought help for your problem by showing Letters of Support and completing a Substance Abuse Evaluation, which usually includes a urine test.
It may seem like a long road between your first and second appeal, but with an aggressive Lansing driver’s license lawyer, you can make the process smoother and win back your driving privileges in no time. Contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation.