Restrictions, Suspensions and Revocations and How They Impact Driver’s License Restoration by Mark Langschied on February 24, 2011

The differences between restrictions, suspensions and revocations are important to understand. A restricted driver’s license limits driving privileges. A suspension is a temporary loss of a driver’s license for a set time period. A permanent loss of driving privileges is a revocation. The Secretary of State can restrict, suspend or revoke driver’s licenses for multiple reasons. Common grounds include:  Multiple DUI convictions (also known as a habitual offender). Your driver’s license is revoked for 1 year after 2 DUI convictions within 7 years. Licenses are revoked for five years after three DUI convictions. A person who has a revoked license because of multiple DUI convictions must wait until the revocation period ends before requesting a hearing to restore his license. Refusal to take a chemical test after an arrest for DUI (also referred to as implied consent). This results in a 1 year suspension for the first refusal and a two year suspension for a second refusal within 7 years. You can only appeal first refusals to circuit court on a hardship basis in Michigan.

Other common reasons for driver’s license restrictions, suspensions and revocations are: 1. Too many points as a result of multiple traffic tickets. 2. Probationary driver violations. This may happen when a probationary driver incurs either traffic accidents or traffic tickets. 3. Restricted license violations. This occurs when a person drives outside of their restrictions. For example, if someone is restricted to driving only to and from work and the person is caught driving somewhere else, this would constitute a violation. 4. Mental/physical disability because a person is unable to drive safely. 5. Out-of-state convictions for drunk driving and the like. 6. Operating a vehicle with a suspended/revoked license. 7. Too many auto accidents.

Significantly, suspensions and revocations are treated differently when it comes to hardship appeals in the circuit court. The hardship appeal allows the petitioner to request a restricted license so that, for example, he or she may drive to and from a place of employment. Suspensions can be appealed on hardship grounds to the circuit court. Revocations cannot be appealed to the circuit court on a hardship basis. Instead, one must wait for the revocation time period to end and appeal to the Driver’s Assessment and Appeal division of the Secretary of State for a hearing.

There are important distinctions between revocations and suspensions. Get the assistance of a driver’s license restoration attorney in determining your best course of action.