Governor Whitmer signed the Clean Slate Act of 2021, allowing Michigan residents to expunge non-violent crimes from their records. It will enable first-time operating while intoxicated (OWI) offenders to clear their driving and public record of any offense. The state hopes this will give first-time offenders better employment and housing opportunities.
Who is eligible for OWI expungement?
The law only applies if it is the first time the court has convicted you of any OWI offense. The convictions that are eligible for expungement are:
- Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
- Driving while under the influence of a schedule one controlled substance
- Super drunk driving
- Allowing a drunk or intoxicated person to drive your vehicle
- Driving while visually impaired
- A minor driving with any level of alcohol in their blood
Before you are eligible for expungement, you must wait five years after any OWI conviction. The probationary period starts after the date of sentencing or after the completion of an incarceration or probation term. You may not qualify for expungement if you receive any other convictions within the waiting period.
How can you improve your chances for expungement?
You can make your case more appealing to the court by entering driving training programs and going through substance abuse rehabilitation programs. Engaging in community service is also a promising idea to show you are an upstanding and honest citizen looking to do good, despite one wrong decision.
Expungement is a lengthy and complicated process. It involves monotonous back-and-forth procedures that can be tedious. But this is your chance at a fresh start. You deserve a life without prejudice or bias.