If you’ve received multiple DUIs in the state of Michigan, you may be worried that your driver’s license will remain revoked forever. However, it is absolutely possible for you to win your Michigan license back, as long as you know what’s required. Every case is different, so the exact process may vary from person to person. But ultimately, your chances of success hinge on your ability to prove whether or not you can be trusted to operate a vehicle safely going forward.
To evaluate your chances and give yourself the best possible chance of winning your Michigan driver’s license restoration case, here’s a rundown of the facts and requirements.
What Is the Shortest License Suspension Period in Michigan?
Michigan can suspend driver’s licenses for as little as 30 days for a variety of reasons, ranging from joy riding to theft of vehicle fuel. There are also offenses that come with a 90-day suspension period or those lasting upwards of a year or even indefinitely. When a license is suspended, you can automatically have it restored after the specified period of time simply by visiting your local Secretary of State office and paying a restoration fee. In some specific cases, there are other requirements as well, but the process is usually fairly straightforward. During the suspension, you may be able to secure a restricted license.
However, that’s not what most drivers who are dealing with multiple DUIs have to worry about. In these instances, your driver’s license is revoked, not suspended. You still need to wait a set period of time before applying to get it back – usually a year, or five years if you’re dealing with multiple revocations within a seven year period. However, waiting for that specified time period will not guarantee your license reinstatement. The waiting period is just there to give you an opportunity to get sober and address the underlying issues that led you to multiple DUIs. You need to actually prove your ability to drive safely and stay sober after that waiting period has been completed, rather than simply going to the Secretary of State and paying a small fee.
What Are the Requirements in Michigan?
Once you have waited the required amount of time, it is up to you to apply for a hearing with the SOS to try and win your license back. During this process, you’re responsible for proving that the substance abuse issues that led to your DUIs will no longer be a problem going forward.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply say to the hearing officer that your substance abuse issues are under control and that you can be trusted to operate a vehicle safely. You have to present a variety of evidence to support your case. This should include:
A 10-panel drug screen
Substance use evaluation form from a state-licensed substance abuse counselor
3-6 letters of support from people who can vouch for your sobriety
Proof of counseling and/or AA attendance logs or a note from your sponsor
Then you’ll need to attend a hearing, where you’ll present your case and all of your collected evidence. You’ll likely need to testify as well, though this process may be a bit different if you’ve since moved out of Michigan and are looking to apply for license restoration in another state.
From there, you may have the opportunity to drive with a restricted license for a one-year period. This will require you to operate a vehicle with an interlock device. So you’ll have to take a breathalyzer test every time you activate the ignition. This device tracks your activity. So if you go a year without attempting to drive under the influence, you can return to a Secretary of State hearing and ask that your license be fully restored.
Will I Need to Enroll in DUI Traffic School?
There is no such thing as “DUI traffic school” in Michigan. So you will not need to attend driving classes or anything of the sort. However, you will likely be required to attend alcohol and drug awareness programs, undergo counseling, and sometimes attend support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. These programs are designed to help you address the issues that led to your DUI convictions and should be taken very seriously. Every case is different, but many offenders are ordered by the court, through the probation department, to take part in some combination of those activities. Doing so can also help your case for reinstatement even if it’s not explicitly required by court order.
What Are My Chances of Reinstating My License After Multiple DUIs?
There are many different factors that will impact your chances of license reinstatement. The court will likely consider the number of alcohol and drug offenses, the amount and duration of any relapses, whether counseling or treatment was undertaken, whether you’ve attended support groups like AA and how favorable your evaluations have been, length of sobriety, and your hearing testimony. The longer you’ve gone without a relapse and the more steps you’ve taken to maintain your sobriety, the better your chances are of winning.
Since every case is so different, it’s best to consult with an experienced attorney who can give you a detailed assessment of your specific case and help you determine your chances of success. Even if you’re not likely to receive a positive outcome at the moment, you may be able to take some positive steps to move your case in the right direction for the future.
So can you win back your Michigan driver’s license after multiple DUIs? Ultimately, the answer is yes, it is possible to restore your license after multiple DUIs. The process may not be easy, but it is absolutely possible if you meet all of the requirements and work with a skilled license restoration attorney who can provide a deep understanding of the process.