My Office receives calls every day from people who have had their Driver's License taken for multiple DUI's. Sometimes they call right after they receive word from the Secretary of State that their License has been Revoked. Other times, they call out of frustration for not being able to get it back - often after a failed "do-it-yourself" License Appeal. Whatever precedes these calls, the callers themselves all have one thing in common; they "need" a License. Desperate, they'll ask "How am I supposed to support my family if I can't even drive to work?" or "How am I supposed to get my kids to school?"
As a Michigan Driver's License Restoration Lawyer, I understand. And I care. But make no mistake about it, the State doesn't. Once a person has their License taken away for multiple DUI's, the State, meaning the Michigan Secretary of State, doesn't like to give it back. There's a decent chance that, if you're reading this, you've already learned that the hard way. The process by which a person gets their License back, called a Driver's License Restoration, is complex, and involves what I call "a million little rules." Yet amongst those million little rules, there is nothing about a person "needing" a License. In other words, it couldn't matter less that a person will lose their job if they cannot drive, or that they have no way to get back and forth to necessary Doctor's appointments without one. "Need" is NOT a factor that the State considers when deciding a License Appeal.
In a Michigan Driver's License Restoration Appeal, the Michigan Secretary of State, through it's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (known as the DAAD), considers a number of legal issues before it decides to Restore a person's Driving privilege or not. We could examine these issues until the stars burn out, but for all practical purposes (and what else matters, really?), winning or losing a License Appeal requires that you prove 2 things, by what is called "clear and convincing evidence" in order to get back on the road:
1. That your alcohol problem is under control, and
2. That your alcohol problem is likely to remain under control.
To boil it down even further, this pretty much means proving you're Sober. "Sober" certainly means something different to someone in Recovery than it does to someone who's not. To the person in Recovery, "Sober" means a way of life, free of all mind and mood altering chemicals. It means you've decided to give up drinking and live an alcohol-free life. To everyone else, being "sober" just means you're not drunk at the moment. Thus, to someone in Recovery, being "Sober" means having given up drinking and choosing to live without alcohol, whereas to pretty much everyone else, being "sober" means little more than the opposite of being inebriated.
Proving those things to a Hearing Officer is really the whole point of what I do. In that sense, my being a Lawyer, or your being a Sober person isn't nearly good enough; we need to combine my skills as a genuine Driver's License Restoration Lawyer with your experiences as you transitioned from drinker to non-drinker. I've written rather extensively about this process in other articles, so we won't belabor it here, beyond my pointing out that, if you are truly Sober, and become my Client, I Guarantee to win your License back the first time we try. I navigate those "million little rules" every day.