In Michigan, after a Drunk Driving, DUI, or OWI conviction a client will be faced with a restricted driver’s license. The restricted license will permit the the person to whom it is issued to drive for several well defined purposes. See Restricted License conditions of driving.
One of the reasons a person can drive is for employment. That includes to and from a persons residence to their work location. And, it includes in the course of that persons employment or occupation. So, for instance a sales person can drive across the state, whatever hours necessary to call on a customer. This will include driving varied and late hours.
Recently a defendant argued that driving your children to and from day care or school is necessary to maintain your employment. That issue was addressed in the case of People v. Seeburger, 225 Mich. App 385, 1997. In that case, the defendant argued that the statute was intended to be permissive, and not restricted. Furthermore, as a single parent driving her children to and from day care is necessary to maintain her employment.
The Seeburger Court found that the Michigan Restricted License specifically delineates the those circumstances upon which an individual can operate their motor vehicle. Furthermore, that the Legislature intended to deter Drunk Driver’s with specific circumstances upon which they can drive. Therefore, the court concluded it is not proper purpose to drive to and from day care or school. It would be up to the Legislature to change the Law.
I believe this is a wrong interpretation of law with very negative consequences. I hope the Legislature changes this Law.
Gerald R. Stahl is an experienced Grand Rapids based criminal defense attorney. He has been representing people charged with Drunk Driving and DUI for over 31 years in all Western Michigan Courts. Gerald R. Stahl is conveniently located in Grand Rapids on East Beltline near Knapp’s Corner and the 63rd District Court.See Michigan Drunk Driving Laws and Consequences.