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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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    Whitmer signs bills allowing expungement for drunk driving offenses

    Lansing — First time offenses of Michigan’s drunken driving law are now eligible for expungement under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. 

    The bills signed by the governor would allow individuals convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense to petition a court to set aside the conviction several years after sentencing. An estimated 200,000 non-repeat offenders are expected to be eligible for the program. 

    A judge asked for an expungement can consider whether the individual has “availed himself or herself of rehabilitative or educational programming,” according to the legislation.

    “No one should be defined by a mistake they have made in the past,” Whitmer said in a Tuesday statement. “These bills allow Michiganders to move on from a past mistake in order to have a clean slate. 

    The legislation, which goes into effect in six months, does not allow for the expungement of offenses that resulted in serious injury or death. The bills were sponsored by Rep. Joe Bellino, R-Monroe, and Rep. Tenisha Yancey, D-Harper Woods.

    Under the bills signed by Whitmer, petitioners would have to wait three years after their offense to ask a judge for an expungement. A bill pending in the Senate would expand that period to five years. 

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