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Governor Whitmer Signs Legislation Representing Final Piece of Clean Slate Package for Non-Repeat OWI Offenders


September 10, 2021  


Governor Whitmer Signs Legislation Representing Final Piece of Clean Slate Package for Non-Repeat OWI Offenders 

LANSING, Mich. - Governor Whitmer today signed Senate Bill 400, which strengthens expungement legislation that the governor signed last month for a first violation of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The governor also signed Senate Bill 408, which strengthens judicial procedures.  

"No one should be defined forever by a mistake they made in the past," said Governor Whitmer. "Senate Bill 400 strengthens recent expungement legislation I signed last month to allow an estimated 200,000 non-repeat OWI offenders to have the opportunity for a second chance at a clean record. In total, this legislation will help us remove barriers so that all residents are able to compete for jobs with a clean record and contribute to their communities in a positive way."  

Senate Bill 400 will require a person seeking an expungement of a first-time OWI offense to wait at least five years after whichever of the following events last occurs before filing a set aside application: 

  • Imposition of the sentence for the conviction the applicant seeks to set aside  
  • Completion of probation 
  • Discharge from parole 
  • Completion of any term of imprisonment 

"I want to thank the Governor for her further considerations of this issue and for signing this bill," said Senator Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan. "This is an amazing opportunity for perhaps over 200,000 citizens who made one error years ago to have new job opportunities and personal freedom. I also thank Lt. Governor Gilchrist for his tremendous support of this effort." 

"Safe & Just Michigan thanks Gov. Whitmer for signing SB 400, which was a key component of the first offense OWI package that passed last month," said John S. Cooper, Executive Director of Safe and Just Michigan. "These bills represent a long-awaited chance for a fresh start for tens of thousands of Michiganders whose opportunities have been limited by a single old drunk driving conviction.  We also thank Sen. McBroom, Rep. Yancey, Rep. Bellino, and the other legislative leaders on this issue that were instrumental in moving these bills through the legislative process with broad bipartisan support." 

Senate Bill 400 was sponsored by Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and a copy of the bill can be founhere.  

The governor also signed Senate Bill 408.  

Senate Bill 408 will allow litigants to appeal a court's decision to set aside a jury verdict, reflecting the importance of ensuring that jury verdicts cannot be overturned lightly.  

Senate Bill 408 was sponsored by Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, and a copy of the bill can be found here.