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Michigan House adds drunken driving to expungement program



People with drunken driving convictions would be added to an expungement program under a bill that was approved Wednesday in the Michigan House.

The legislation will go to the Senate.

First-time drunken driving offenses weren’t part of an expungement law that was signed earlier this year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Supporters say hundreds of thousands of people could benefit.

In Michigan, an expungement clears the public record of a conviction so it does not appear in a background check. Police still keep a non-public record, but people would not have to disclose their criminal past on job applications or other forms. Sen. Ed McBroom said one dumb mistake such as drunken driving shouldn’t impact a person for their rest of the life.

“Everyone knows someone who has struggled with alcohol dependency, and anyone who has supported a friend or family member who has step-by-step reclaimed their lives is keenly aware that they have done the hard work to earn a second chance,” Chief Justice Bridget McCormack said earlier this month.


Anna Liz Nichols is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.