This article is actually NOT a tutorial covering all the right buzzwords a person needs to say in order to win a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal. Instead, I chose the title as a satirical way to point out that you can’t do that, and to make clear that there are no shortcuts on the path to winning your license back. While a person does have to say some of the “right” things in order to win a license appeal case, what matters more is that he or she really means them, and that they are true.
Let’s begin by taking note that, in order to win a driver’s license restoration or clearance case, a person must prove 2 things, by what is legally defined as clear and convincing evidence: First, that his or her alcohol problem is “under control,” which requires showing he or she has been completely abstinent from alcohol for a legally “sufficient” period of time (our office generally prefers a minimum of 18 months before we’ll file a case), and second, that his or her alcohol problem is “likely to remain under control,” which requires demonstrating that he or she is a safe bet to never drink again.
The key to winning a restoration or clearance case, therefore, is proving sobriety. The Michigan Secretary of State has no interest in listening to anyone who lost his or her license for multiple DUI’s now argue that he or she can somehow safely drink alcohol once in a while, on “special occasions,” or anything like that. The line in the sand has been drawn by the law: Only those who can prove that they haven’t had a drink for a legally “sufficient” period of time and have both the ability and commitment to remain alcohol-free for good can win a license appeal.