How Will Taking Narcotic Painkillers Affect My Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan?

Narcotic painkillers tend to get a bad rap. Between misuse, abuse, and addiction, prescription pain medications raise many eyebrows and red flags, as well as lead to driving regulations. The truth of the matter, however, is that many people do need medication to treat chronic pain. When you put both of these concepts together, it leads to this question: How will taking narcotic painkillers affect my driver’s license restoration in Michigan?

This question is especially relevant in certain scenarios, such in the case of a driver who must use marijuana to treat chronic pain.

How the Use of Narcotic Painkillers May Affect Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan

Taking narcotic painkillers may affect your driver’s license restoration in Michigan in a few ways, but help from your doctor may be the solution. It is critical that your treating doctor is on your side.  If they are aware of your substance use and conviction history and they support your license restoration, then you should consider moving forward. 

As noted on the Michigan Secretary of State website, each year, thousands of people are killed or permanently disabled because someone drove while intoxicated or impaired after consuming alcohol or other chemical substances. 

According to Michigan law, it is illegal to drive while impaired by a controlled substance or other intoxicating substance. Michigan law requires driver’s license suspensions for drug convictions, even if you were not driving at the time of the offense. If there were no prior drug violations, your driver’s license is suspended for six months. One or more prior drug convictions in seven years means your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

When we file for your license restoration in Michigan, we must answer questions about any narcotic painkillers you may be taking. We may also need to verify that you have been sent to a qualified substance abuse counselor for an evaluation, depending on the various factors in your case. 

Taking pain killers adds a level of complexity to a license restoration case.  In some cases, narcotic painkillers relieve pain, but they can lead to addiction. That addiction may lead to dangerous driving behaviors. Those dangerous driving behaviors may lead to license revocations.

Consider this: An alcoholic is committed to her sobriety and is looking forward to being able to get her license reinstated. She then gets into a crash by no fault of her own, but she uses narcotic painkillers temporarily in order to relieve the pain associated with the crash. This driver is now potentially at risk of relapsing because an alcoholic shouldn’t use any substances at all, regardless of which one she was addicted to.

In other words, you have to admit that you are using a substance that may affect your ability to drive and may lead to addiction. The task at hand is to prove that you will be responsible and that the use of narcotic painkillers will not reduce your ability to drive safely.

Get the Help You Need

Every situation is different, and getting your license restored depends on why it was revoked in the first place. If it was due to drunken driving and you use narcotic painkillers, this can clearly get very complicated.

It’s a tough situation all around, but with the right attorney and the help of your doctor, it’s possible to get your driver’s license restored in Michigan even if you do use narcotic painkillers.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss the specifics of your case.


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