• If You Have An International Driver License - Police Do Not Have A Reason To Arrest You
  • May 15, 2012
  • Law Firm: The Nichols Law Firm PLLC - East Lansing Office
  • A visitor, alien or illegal alien may drive on your out of state or international driver license in Michigan, whether you ever applied for a Michigan driver license or not. The court of appeals just ruled that even an illegal alien who has a Mexican-issued driver license that was valid at the time the driver was in an accident, is not in violation of the Michigan driving while license suspended law.

    “The holding in People v Acosta-Bautista makes perfect sense,” says Michigan OWI-OUID-OUIL attorney Mike Nichols of Lansing. Nichols adds: “the officer arrested Mr. Acosta-Bautista after a fatal car accident near Okemos high school for driving while his license was suspended. However, his license was not suspended: it was issued by his home country.”
    The defense attorney for Mr. Acosta-Bautista filed a motion arguing that his client should not have been arrested by the police officer because he did not violate the driving while license suspended law. The circuit court agreed and suppressed the evidence following Mr. Acosta-Bautista’s arrest. The prosecutor appealed the court of appeals ruled on May 1st that the circuit judge was correct. “It makes perfect sense - we have treaties and compacts with other countries under which people who visit those countries may drive on their home-country’s license,” Nichols added. The case is No. 303015; Lower Court No. 10-000947-FH (Ingham County).
    Nichols, author of the OWI Handbook by Thomson West Publishing and an adjunct professor of DUI Law and Practice at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, says that “it’s important that people not focus on the fact that the prosecutor tried to claim that this man had no rights because he was here illegally - it can be a fine line between legal and illegal visitors but moreover, if the court had ruled that the DWLS law applies to someone who is driving on the license issued by their home country, it would extend the reach of the law way beyond what the legislature intended.”
    For an attorney who knows the law and is committed to results, contact Mike Nichols at [email protected]