Here are some common questions we receive about license restoration:
Q: I just received my second DUI conviction. What will happen to my driver’s license?
A: Two convictions within seven years will result in a one-year revocation of your driving privileges in Michigan.
Q: I just received my third DUI conviction. What will happen to my driver’s license?
A: Three or more DUI convictions will result in a five-year revocation of your license in the state of Michigan.
Q: If I’m in sobriety court, can I get a restricted license?
A: After January 1, 2011, you may be eligible for a restricted license if you are in a sobriety court program.
Q: What is a revocation as opposed to a suspension?
A: A suspension of driving privileges is for a defined period of time. For example, a suspension for one year means that you cannot drive for one year, but at the end of one year you can start driving again. However, revocations work differently. A revocation is permanent until you are approved by the Secretary of State to drive. For example, if you have a one-year revocation, you cannot drive for one year and you would be eligible for a hearing to restore your license after that year ended. You would have to convince a hearing officer to restore your driving privileges at a hearing.
Q: What section of the Secretary of State handles license hearings?
A: The Administrative Hearings section handles hearings in Michigan.
Q: What is a hearing like?
A: It is similar to a trial in front of a judge. You will give testimony to a hearing officer who will decide your case. You will have the opportunity to submit evidence in support of your case and to call witnesses on your behalf.
Q: What do I need to prove to reinstate my driver’s license at the hearing?
A: You must prove that your alcohol/substance abuse problem is under control and likely to remain that way. Also, you must prove that you represent a low or minimal risk of repeating the act of drunk driving, and that you have the ability and motivation to drive safely within the law. Finally, you must prove at least one year of sobriety prior to the hearing.
Q: How convincingly do I have to prove my case?
A: You must prove your case by clear and convincing evidence. Stated another way, your case must be a “slam dunk”.
Q: What kind of evidence may I submit?
A: Alcoholics Anonymous attendance sheets, treatment records, letters of sobriety, substance abuse evaluation, and any other evidence that proves your case.
Q: Can I call witnesses on my behalf?
Q: Is AA attendance helpful?
A: Yes, it shows that you are a part of a sober support group. However, AA is not always necessary to win your case.
Q: After the hearing, how long will it take to find out if I’ve won my case?
A: Typically, you will receive the hearing officers written opinion in 2 to 8 weeks.
Q: If I lose, can I appeal?
A: Yes – you can appeal to the Circuit Court.
Q: How long do I have to appeal?
A: Within 63 days after the adverse decision by the Secretary of State.
Q: Should I consider an appeal?
A: My advice is to talk to an attorney. A lot of factors need to be considered, such as why you lost, if the evidence was presented thoroughly, was any evidence left out, and what is the likelihood of winning an appeal. An attorney should be able to help you consider these factors to help you reach a sound decision.
Q: Should I hire an attorney for help?
A: An attorney that handles these cases can be a big help. An attorney can advise you on what evidence to submit, prepare you to testify, ask questions of you at the hearing to establish your case, and deliver a closing argument on your behalf. They are a useful resource.