DUI Survival Guide - Out-of-State Licenses
Michigan Drunk Driving - Out-of-State License
When a client is charged with drunk driving in Michigan, one of the first questions I ask my client is whether or not they have a Michigan or an out of state license. If a client has an out-of-state license, the most the State of Michigan can do to this license is sanction my client's ability to drive within Michigan, but not the other 49 states or outside of the country.
This only happens if the client resolves their case with a drunk driving result or they are found guilty at trial to the offense. No matter the end result of the case, the police officer at the scene will actually take away your physical license, and issue a temporary license.
Under Michigan law, the arresting officer must confiscate the Michigan license of a driver who allegedly either (1) refused a request for a chemical test at the time of the arrest or (2) took a chemical test that was offered by the officer or performed under a court order and that reveals an unlawful alcohol content.
Out-of-state driver’s licenses are not subject to confiscation. The officer then issues a temporary driving permit to the driver. MCL 257.625g(1). The temporary license has the same authority as your physical license, which was taken away, but it creates an uncomfortable situation when you're asked to show photo ID in your daily life.
An example of this would be if you're using your credit card to buy groceries and the cashier asks to see some photo ID. The last thing you want to do is pull out your paper license issued by a police officer due to your drunk driving arrest. I tell clients that they should go to their local SOS and request a State of Michigan ID, which is not a driver's license, but will fill the photo ID void until the client receives their physical license back. The client should retain their paper temporary license as well, which is actually their driver's license during the course of the case.
If faced with a DUI arrest with an out-of-state license, it's important to discuss with your attorney the potential consequences both within Michigan, and in your home state.
Former NYC & Michigan Prosecutor