Wiese says first-time OWI convictions should not be expunged from offenders' records

Jan 6, 2021

MARQUETTE, MI--   Marquette County’s chief prosecutor supports Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of a bill to expunge the records of first-time convicted drunk drivers.

Matt Wiese says drunk driving is one of the few crimes that is “results-based;” the driver could arrive home safely, he or she could cause an accident, or someone could be killed in a crash. Wiese believes expunging an operating while intoxicated offense minimizes the seriousness of the crime.

“If they drive home and don’t get caught, that’s fine in their mind. But what we know about drunk driving is that statistically, people that are arrested for drunk driving have, on average, driven drunk at least 200 times in the past.”   

Governor Whitmer vetoed the legislation this week. Bill sponsor, Senator Ed McBroom, says first-time offenders deserve a chance to learn from their mistakes and become productive members of society.

Wiese notes the records of first-time offenders are automatically expunged five years after they’re released from the criminal justice system.