To win a Michigan driver’s license restoration case, a person must prove that he or she is clean and sober, and is committed to remaining clean and sober for life. “Clean and sober” specifically means that a person does not consume or use any kind of mind or mood altering substances whatsoever. Thus, anyone who uses recreational marijuana, no matter how infrequently, is not truly “clean and sober.” This is one of the very first things anyone learns when they get into recovery.
That brings us to an important point, because the kind of sobriety required to win a license appeal isn’t merely “incidental” in the sense that a person merely has not yet consumed any alcohol or used any drugs. Instead, a person must prove that he or she is sober by choice, meaning that he or she both understands the need for complete abstinence and has made a conscious decision to live substance-free. For its part, the Michigan Secretary of State is going to drill down and really explore the strength of a person’s ongoing commitment to do just that.
One of the most telltale indicators that someone doesn’t “get” this comes after being confronted with the need to prove that they’ve chosen to be completely clean and sober. Often, they’ll say something like, “but marijuana is legal now!” Being clean and sober means knowing one can never indulge in the use of any mind of mood-altering substances, whether they’re legal or not. The Secretary of State has specific, established criteria for granting a license appeal, and they require complete abstinence from all drugs and alcohol, and a commitment to never drink or use any kind of intoxicants again.