Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan – Must wait until Probation is over

This installment will deal with why a person cannot win back their Driver’s License in Michigan if they are still on Probation or Parole. The first part of my job as a Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer is to “screen” a potential client. I want to know if they’re eligible to file an Appeal, but even if they are, that doesn’t mean that they’re anywhere near being qualified, or able to win it. And one of the big obstacles to winning an Appeal is being on Probation (or Parole) at the time it’s filed.

Let’s be clear about it: If your License has been Revoked for 2 DUI’s within 7 years (Mandatory 1-year Revocation), or 3 or more within 10 years (Mandatory 5-year Revocation), and you are on Probation (or Parole), you cannot win Restoration of your Driver’s License from the Michigan Secretary of State Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), Period.

-09AlcoHawk_Precision_BreathalyzerEL9-detail.jpgThe is the case because the DAAD knows that whenever a person is on Probation or Parole, they are required to refrain from consuming any alcohol or controlled substances (without a prescription). Inevitably, the person is subject to either regular, or at least random testing. And if they test positive, the consequences (i.e., a Probation Violation, or a Parole Violation) can involve going to Jail, or back to Prison. This is a pretty strong deterrent to using while on Probation or Parole.

The DAAD calls this “living in a controlled environment.”

Of course, for those who truly embrace recovery, their sobriety has nothing to do with being monitored and tested. In other words, people who really are clean and sober don’t abstain from drinking out of a fear of getting caught; they remain sober because, as the saying goes, they “are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

The question then becomes, how can the DAAD separate those who are truly sober from those who are not drinking because they’re being monitored and tested? And the unfortunate answer is that they cannot. Even those truly committed to recovery, and still on Probation or Parole, will have to admit that there is no definitive way to tell one group from the other. It goes without saying that this rather “sucks” for those who are part of the “truly recovering” group, but that’s the way it is.

Once a person has been released from Probation, or Parole, and when they are no longer subject to testing, or to punishment for drinking or using, and they continue to remain clean and sober, then there is no longer any issue about them “living in a controlled environment.” Their sobriety is unquestionably voluntary. At that point, once they become eligible to file a License Appeal, they have at least eliminated one insurmountable obstacle to regaining the privilege to drive in Michigan.