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Can you get your CDL reinstated after an OWI conviction?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | OWI

Michigan has strict impaired driving laws. Even a first-time offense can land you in jail, and your commercial driver’s license (CDL) could be suspended for a minimum of one year. In addition, Michigan laws don’t permit legal erasure or expungement of an operating while intoxicated conviction.

Whether you operate a rig, bus or tow truck, getting arrested for an OWI can put your career at risk, and you may face criminal penalties and enhanced charges. Remember, your CDL can be suspended even when arrested or convicted for drunk driving while operating your own vehicle. 

Here are a few steps you can take to get your CDL reinstated.

Wait for the suspension period to expire

Your CDL license may be suspended for one year for a first-time OWI offense. However, if you’re a repeat offender or the offense involved the transportation of hazardous materials, the suspension may last up to three years. Your CDL will automatically be returned after the suspension period has expired. 

Unfortunately, if your license was revoked, you’ll not only have to wait for the revocation period to expire, but you’ll also have to reapply and undergo the entire application process like it’s your first time.  

Pay all required fees

While your suspended license will be reinstated after the suspension period, you will also be required to visit the Secretary of State and pay a reinstatement fee of $250. However, if this isn’t your first offense or your license was revoked, you may have to pay a $500 fee. 

Complete driver’s exams

Before you can get your CDL reinstated, you may have to take a driving exam. This can involve a driving test, a written exam and an application fee. Remember, taking a driver’s exam can help show good faith to the court. 

Protect your CDL when arrested for drunk driving

If you operate a commercial vehicle, you should do everything possible to protect your license and career. To do this, consider seeking legal assistance.