I have posted over 283 articles about the driver's license restoration and clearance process; that's a lot of information. Yet for everything I have written, both on my blog and on my website, there is one fact - one single thing - that is the key to winning back your license; you must be sober. You must have honestly quit drinking. I probably write about this topic more than any other because this subject comes up more than any other, and its primary importance cannot be ignored nor overstated. The "meat and potatoes" of every driver's license appeal is the requirement that you prove that you are a safe bet to never drink again. The license appeal process is about merely convincing the Michigan Secretary of State that you aren't a risk to drink and drive again; from the state's point of view, if you've been revoked for 2 or more DUI's, you have an alcohol problem and you're going to need to prove that there is no alcohol within a million miles of your life.
Real sobriety is a rare thing. Plenty of people confuse being sober, as in "not drunk," at a particular moment with the larger concept of sobriety. The hard truth is that there is really no explaining the fundamental difference; you either know it as a matter of instinct and experience, or you don't. If you have gone through the life-changing process of transitioning from drinker to non-drinker, then you just "get it." It can be frustrating for me because everyone who has lost his or her license wants it back. Everyone needs a license, but only those who can prove they are not a risk to ever drink again will win it back. Unfortunately, even most lawyers don't understand the nuances of the license restoration process, so it's no wonder that so few people don't succeed. This is important enough to repeat: To win your license back after multiple DUI's you need to prove to the Michigan Secretary of State's Administrative Hearing Section (now called the AHS, formerly, and until recently, the DAAD) that you are no risk to ever pick up a drink again - ever.
This is huge, yet simple for those who "get it," but nearly beyond comprehension for those who don't. The state sees anyone whose license has been revoked for multiple DUI's as a huge safety risk. Statistics bear out the fact - and it is a fact beyond dispute - that most people with a drinking problem never get over it. Sure, lots of people can "put the plug in the jug" for a while, but long term or permanent abstinence is the exception, not the rule. The state figures that given this reality, only those people who can prove themselves likely to be that exception should be allowed back on the road. When you think about it, there is really no other choice. Why would anyone seriously consider giving a license back to someone with multiple DUI's who now says he or she can drink safely, or only once in a while, or whatever, and then wraps that all up in another promise to never drink and drive again?