Michigan lawmakers once again push expungement for first-time drunk driving offenders

drunk driving
Posted at 5:42 AM, May 27, 2021

(WXYZ) — Lansing lawmakers are making another push to allow people to expunge drunk driving convictions from their records. The focus is on first-time convictions and it would be expunged after five years.

The legislature previously passed a bipartisan package of clean-slate bills, however, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pocket-vetoed a separate bill that included the expungement of drunk driving convictions.

People who support criminal expungement say it can make it easier for ex-offenders to find jobs and housing. A study done by the University of Michigan last year found wages improved by about 23% after the first year of expungement. Women and Black recipient wages increased more than their white male counterparts.

The same study found in the first five years of eligibility, only about 6.5% of people who meet legal limit for expungement get their record cleared.

When you take expungement into count it takes away the accountability, it just takes a whole other system," Doug Scoles, the field director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said last December. "It's a horrible piece of legislation from a position of safety and protecting the citizens and safeguarding the citizens of Michigan."