If you’re reading this, chances are you (or someone you care about) is looking for information about the Michigan driver’s license restoration process. By now, most people have at least heard about AI (artificial intelligence), and many have heard about how it’s available through services like ChatGPT. Not wanting to be left out, or become a “late-adopter,” I opened a ChatGPT account just to poke around a bit and familiarize myself with this emerging technology. Soon enough, I decided to see how AI would answer a question about restoring driving privileges, so I gave it a try.
I will reprint both my question and the answer later in this piece. First, however, it’s worth pointing out that while ChatGPT missed some of the more important nuances of the license appeal process, it certainly got the larger “gist” of it. The fact that the AI program picked up on the sobriety requirement is what really inspired this piece, but probably not for the reason that the reader may suspect. Instead, I was troubled by the fact that despite all the time people spend searching online, many seem to miss it.
The main point of every Michigan driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal is proving one’s sobriety. Restoring driving privileges has nothing to do with how much anyone may need to drive. Indeed, one hearing officer has often observed that “everybody needs a license.” However, after someone loses it for multiple DUI’s, he or she is legally categorized as a “habitual alcohol offender.” A further legal consequence of that designation is that he or she is presumed to have a drinking problem.
That presumption is the starting point for every Michigan driver’s license restoration and out-of-state clearance appeal. To be sure, it’s understood that not everyone who racks up 2 DUI’s in 7 years is a raging alcoholic. Instead, the idea is that, whatever kind of drinking issues that person may or may not have, he or she is LEGALLY CONSIDERED a risk when it comes to alcohol and driving. One thing is certain in that regard: People who don’t drink are exactly ZERO risk to ever drink and drive, or otherwise drive while intoxicated.
Accordingly, to minimize that risk as it relates to someone with 2 or more prior DUI’s, the only people for whom Michigan Secretary of State will consider restoring driving privileges are those who can prove they have quit drinking and are a safe bet to never drink agin (or use any other substances, including recreational marijuana).
Now, with that as our backdrop I’ll reprint my exact question and then ChatGPT’s answer to it:
Q: What is required to win a driver’s license restoration case in Michigan after multiple DUI convictions?
A: Restoring a driver’s license in Michigan after multiple DUI convictions can be a complex and challenging process. Here are some of the key requirements that need to be met to win a driver’s license restoration case:
Eligibility: To apply for a driver’s license restoration, you must first be eligible to do so. In Michigan, you must wait at least one year after your license revocation before you can apply for a hearing.
Sobriety: The most critical factor in a driver’s license restoration case is demonstrating sobriety. You must be able to show that you have been sober for a significant period of time, typically at least one year, and that you have a plan for maintaining your sobriety in the future.
Substance abuse evaluation: You will need to undergo a substance abuse evaluation by a qualified professional who will assess your alcohol and drug use and provide recommendations for treatment if necessary.
Letters of support: You will need to provide letters of support from people who can attest to your sobriety and your commitment to remaining sober.
Driver’s license hearing: You will need to appear at a driver’s license restoration hearing and present evidence of your sobriety and other relevant information that supports your case.
Compliance with the law: It’s essential to demonstrate that you have complied with all legal requirements, including any fines, community service, or other penalties associated with your DUI convictions.
Any other relevant factors: The hearing officer will consider any other relevant factors that may impact your ability to safely operate a vehicle, such as medical conditions, mental health issues, or other personal circumstances.
It’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the driver’s license restoration process and help you present the strongest possible case to the hearing officer.
To be fair, the current free version of ChatGPT is 3.5. The current latest version, for which one has to pay $20 per month, is 4.0. By all accounts, the 4.0 version is MUCH better. For example, consider this from a recent article in the April 2023 issue of Law Practice Today:
“GPT-3.5 ranked in the bottom 10% of scores when it took the uniform bar exam. The newly released GPT-4 ranked in the top 10% of scores. Pretty impressive. Notice how quickly that result was achieved. AI is morphing at the speed of light.”
My point is that even the “older” version of the AI program can quickly determine that the key to restoring driving privileges (or granting a clearance for a Michigan “hold” on a person’s driving record) is sobriety.
Why, then, do so many people miss this? Also, why don’t all legal websites and blogs make the sobriety requirement front and center, like ours do?
The answer is simple: because people are drawn to what they want to hear, and, unfortunately, there is a lot of money to be made in catering to that. People who have lost their licenses will always be interested in restoring driving privileges. There are a lot of potential customers for that service. Leaving out the fact that proving sobriety is the main focus of the process casts a wider net and catches many people who are ready, willing, and able to pay to get their license back, but who haven’t quit drinking.
By contrast, focusing on the sobriety requirement can put off a lot of those potentials. The irony, of course, is that no matter how much a person spends, or what lawyer he or she hires, a license appeal CANNOT be won without proving sobriety.
Our firm is very upfront that “needing” a license has nothing to do with being able to win in back. My team and I make clear that genuine sobriety is the foundation of every viable license appeal case. We do this on both our blog and in the driver’s license restoration section of our website. Of course, we could make a lot more money if we skipped over that and focused, instead, on how important it is to be able to drive. Imagine this as a marketing line:
It’s difficult to get by without a driver’s license. You can do so much more when you’re able to drive legally. Isn’t it time you get ahead in life and allow yourself to take advantage of the opportunity that come with having a valid license? Give us a call so we can get you back behind the wheel!
If our firm ran something like that, all we’d have to do is answer the phone, agree with people that they “need” a license, and then get paid to file an appeal on their behalf.
So why don’t we?
First, because that’s dishonest, misleading, and morally wrong. As we’ve seen, restoring driving privileges is about being sober and proving it, not about needing to drive.
Second, and just as important, our firm GUARANTEES TO WIN every driver’s license restoration and clearance appeal case we take. Although we are intrinsically honest and genuinely care, our guarantee ensures that we stay that way. If we take a case that doesn’t win, we’re stuck with it until it does. This literally makes us invested in our client’s success. Why would we ever take a case that we couldn’t make into a winner? At the very least, that would mean we would be obligated to double the work for half the pay.
It’s easy to see why anyone interested in restoring driving privileges may ignore all of this “sobriety stuff.” We know this to be a fact, because loads of people contact us for a license restoration, and then are surprised when we start asking them questions about their drinking in order to screen them. Still, it’s frustrating that, in answer to one of my first questions on the ChatGPT platform, the AI algorithm was able to correctly identify sobriety as the main requirement to win a Michigan driver’s license restoration case.
While the AI program got that, it did miss a ton of nuances that are directly relevant to the process. We’ll skip all of that for now. Otherwise, it would more than quadruple the size of this installment.
So what’s our grand takeaway here?
That sobriety really IS the basis of and first requirement to win a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal case. If you haven’t gotten that message clearly (that certainly wouldn’t be the case with our firm), then you’ve been looking in the wrong places for information about restoring driving privileges.
If you have any doubt, then look a little deeper. This blog is a great place to start. It is fully searchable and updated weekly with new, original content. To-date, I have written and published over 680 articles in the driver’s license restoration section. The reader can find more useful information here than any and everywhere else combined, but don’t take my word for it – check for yourself.
If you are looking for a lawyer to win back your license, or get a Michigan hold released on your driving record so that you can get a license in another state, be a wise consumer and DO read around.
Once you’ve done enough reading, start calling around. You can learn a lot by speaking with a live person. Our firm can handle your case (either in-person or virtually) no matter where you live, so make sure you give us a ring as you explore your options.
All of our consultations are free, confidential, and done over the phone, right when you call. My team and I are very friendly people who will be glad to answer your questions and explain things. We’ll even be happy to compare notes with anything some other lawyer has told you.
We can be reached Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (EST) at either 248-986-9700 or 586-465-1980.