Every day, and probably due in large part to this blog, my office is contacted by lots of people who need to win back their driver’s license. In this short article, I want to strip away all the complex rules and procedures involved in the license restoration and clearance process and look at the single, core issue that is central to every license appeal – drinking. If I was asked to explain what driver’s license restoration and clearances were all about in one sentence, I’d say this: To make sure someone convicted of multiple DUI’s can prove that her or she has not had a drink for a few years and has the commitment and tools to never drink again. That’s the real “meat and potatoes” of it all.
Everything about losing your license and then getting it back has to do with drinking. To those who have not truly quit and believe they can safely indulge in adult beverages, the Secretary of State’s requirement that a person prove he or she has been completely abstinent and will remain alcohol-free seems like an obsession. On the flip side, however, it also seems like an obsession that a person who has lost his or her license for multiple drunk driving convictions is still worried about being able to drink. Believe me, I’ve heard every argument there is and I’m numb to them all because – and this is the big thing – the deal is that you will never qualify to get your license back until you’ve given up alcohol for good. I understand how people feel about this, although, truth be told, I side with the state on this one. The folks who are the best risk to never drink and drive again are those who don’t drink at all. Opening the door even a little to believe someone who swears that his or her drinking is now under control can never be made to sound like a good idea, not even for a minute.
A long time ago, before I had hundreds and hundreds of driver’s license restoration articles published on my blog (the number stands at over 370 as of this writing), I was probably a bit harder to find on the internet. A consequence of my consistent writing on this subject is that, to the person searching just about anything related to a Michigan license restoration or clearance issues, I come up pretty highly ranked, and, if you click on any of my stuff, it doesn’t take long to figure out that I’ve written more than just about everyone else combined. I’m actually proud of that, and believe that as much expertise as I have, the very act of researching and explaining everything logically has made me a better lawyer, as well. The problem, though, is that many people will automatically find me and conclude that “he’s the guy,” call me, and think that just by offering to pay my fee, they can get back on the road. It doesn’t work that way. Sure, I guarantee to win every case I take, but, I ONLY TAKE CASES FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HONESTLY STOPPED DRINKING. That’s not a bunch of hot air on my part, either, it’s the whole point of a license appeal, and it is the reason I won’t get involved in a case for anyone who is not genuinely committed to remaining sober.