Michigan Driver’s License Restoration

Driver’s License RestorationIn most circumstances, after your license has been revoked, you may request restoration of your driving privilege through the Michigan Secretary of State’s DAAD, which is an acronym for the “Driver Assessment and Appeal Division.”  The look-back periods for such revocations are as follows:

If you have two drunk driving convictions within seven years then your license is revoked for life but you may request a DAAD license restoration hearing after one year;

If you have three drunk driving convictions within ten years then your license is revoked for life but you may request a DAAD license restoration hearing after either one year or five years.

If your driving record includes a prior revocation within the prior 7 years, then you are subject to a hard five year revocation, meaning you must wait five years before requesting your DAAD license restoration hearing.

Your lawyer will be able to review your driving record and thereby determine when you are next eligible to make this request for hearing.

How to Request a Hearing

In order to actually obtain a hearing you are required to file your request with the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).  It is VERY important to win your hearing because if you lose, you will not be able to request another hearing until after another year has passed.

The necessary documents and things needed to request the hearing are described below.  Again, make sure these documents are perfect BEFORE you request your hearing.  Your lawyer can review these documents to make sure they are sufficient and do not contain any incorrect or unhelpful information.

Details count!  The hearing officer at the DAAD will be looking for a reason to deny you so make sure he or she does not have one.  The only way to do this is proper preparation.

The most important hearing you will have will be the first one you request, and you should spend the money to hire the best lawyer you can afford to help you with this lawyer.

It’s far too easy to lose one of these hearings, and if you lose your first one, then you’ve started to dig an even deeper hole for yourself. This is because the Department will be reviewing all prior hearing records to determine why you were denied the last time around.

Remember, not only does everything you present need to be consistent, it also needs to be consistent with the information previously submitted!

What do you Need to Request a Hearing?

The first thing you will need is a current substance abuse evaluation, prepared by qualified professional that is complete and accurate. The substance abuse evaluation must have attached to it a copy of the written “testing instrument” and must also include a copy of your answers to this written test.

The testing instrument is the written test used by your therapist to help him or her determine if you have an alcohol or drug problem, and to arrive at a proper diagnosis of any problem that exists.

Common test instruments are the MAST test, the SASSI test, Addiction Severity Index, among others.  Your therapist will select the appropriate instrument for your substance abuse evaluation.

You must also have a ten panel urinalysis to test for the different drug categories, specifically including the categories that encompass the drugs of abuse.  The hearing officer will want to know if some other drug has taken the place of alcohol in your life.

Burden of Proof

Again, it is always helpful to simply look at the rules that apply to these hearings. The actual rule is reproduced below. When you are thinking about your driver license restoration hearing that occurs after you’ve lost your license for multiple drunk driving, OWI, DUI, DWI or OWVI convictions, you must understand that you have the burden or proof.

What’s more, the state starts out with the assumption that you are not going to obtain a driver license. In other words, it’s just the opposite of a criminal case like drunk driving where you are protected by the presumption of innocence and you cannot be convicted of drunk driving (OWI, OWVI, DUI, DWI) unless and until the state meets it’s burden of proof.

The actual burden of proof is “clear and convincing evidence” which basically means the hearing officer must be left with a definite and firm conviction that your substance abuse problem is under control and likely to remain under control and that you are at low or minimal risk for repeat behavior.

Because the burden of proof is so high, and because the hearing officer is supposed to start out with the assumption that you are not going to obtain a license, he or she will be looking for any reason to deny your application.

Here is what the actual rule states

(a) The hearing officer shall not order that a license be issued to the petitioner unless the petitioner proves, by clear and convincing evidence, all of the following:

(i) That the petitioner’s alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control.

(ii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating his or her past abusive behavior is a low or minimal risk.

(iii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by, or under the influence of, alcohol or controlled substances or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance or repeating any other offense listed in section 303(1)(d), (e), or (f) or (2)(c), (d), (e), or (f) of the act is a low or minimal risk.

(iv) That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.

(v) Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified in paragraphs (i) to (iv) of this subdivision.

How the Law Office of Lucas X. Dillon Can Help You Regain Your Driver’s License

Now that you have an idea of what you’re up against you probably have a better idea of what a lawyer can do to help you. We have successfully handled driver license restoration cases for many years, and have an excellent idea of what the hearing officers look for when reviewing the proofs presented at and before the hearing. We know why they’ve denied in the past.

We can use this information to your benefit because we can review all of your documentation BEFORE it is submitted for the hearing. If we think that it is deficient, we will ask you to make corrections.

The bottom line is this: an honest case properly prepared and presented will always result in a positive result. If we think you’re not ready, we’ll tell you, and we’ll help you understand what you need to do to get ready. We have a very high success rate and this is only because we prepare our cases so thoroughly before we ever present them.

If you can’t show 12 months of absolute sobriety, then we recommend that you wait before contacting us.