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Whitmer signs clean slate bills for non-repeat OWI offenders

Michigan Legislature OKs super PAC bills; Snyder to review
Posted at 11:39 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 11:39:54-04

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed House Bills 4219 and 4220, which will allow for expungement of convictions for a first violation of operating while intoxicated under certain circumstances.

The bills are expected to allow about 200,000 non-repeat OWI offenders to have the opportunity for a second chance at a clean record, according to a news release Tuesday.

Whitmer also signed legislation that continues Michigan legal blood alcohol content level for driving at .08, eliminating a planned sunset that would have increased the limit to .10.

“No one should be defined by a mistake they have made in the past,” Whitmer said. “These bills allow Michiganders to move on from a past mistake in order to have a clean slate. We must clear a path for first-time offenders so that all residents are able to compete for jobs with a clean record and contribute to their communities in a positive way.”

The bills give those with OWI convictions the option to seek expungement of their first offense five years after probation ends.

Applicants must submit a petition to the court, which would be reviewed and determined by a judge.

Incidents that caused death or serious injury to a victim are not eligible.

“Safe & Just Michigan thanks Gov. Whitmer for signing these popular, bipartisan bills, which represent a long-awaited chance for a fresh start for tens of thousands of Michiganders whose opportunities have been limited by a single old DUI conviction,” Safe & Just Michigan Executive Director John S. Cooper said. “Drunk driving is a serious problem in Michigan, but permanently limiting a person’s ability to work and drive based on a one-time, decades-old mistake does not make sense. People who can show that their DUI conviction was a one-time mistake should have an opportunity to make a fresh start.”

Together, the bills allow for the criminal record expungement of first-time offenses for:

  • Any person operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more
  • Any person operating a vehicle while visibly impaired by alcohol or other controlled substance
  • A person under 21 years old operating a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more
  • Any person from operating a vehicle with any bodily amount of cocaine or a Schedule 1 controlled substance
Elle Meyers

Elle Meyers

6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2021

State Capitol

Neighborhood Reporter

Elle Meyers

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