Michigan OWI/DUI Driver’s License Restoration: How to Satisfy The Letter Requirements

With Michigan being home to nearly 7 million licensed drivers, ensuring motorists are safe is a priority.  Drunk drivers on the road put not only themselves in danger, but also everyone else that happens to be on the road with them.  For this reason, and to ensure motorists are safe, when a driver is convicted of drunk driving in Michigan their privilege to drive will be taken away.  Whether the driving privileges are temporarily suspended or completely revoked getting a license back is not so simple.

Before restoring a driver’s license the Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD) will want to be absolutely convinced that it is not putting a dangerous person back on the road.  One of the ways the DLAD accomplishes this is to try and get an inside look into the driver’s personal life through testimonial letters submitted by the driver’s friends, co-workers, and family.

Therefore, drivers (also called petitioners) who are trying to get their driving privileges restored are required to obtain and submit 3-6 testimonial letters which attest to his or her sobriety.  There will be no chance of license restoration unless 100% abstinence from alcohol and all controlled substances is established.  Whatever a person wants to call them: testimonial letters, letters of support, character letters or reference letters, they must be persuasive.  The point of the letters is to present clear and convincing evidence to the Hearing Officer that the petitioner will be a safe driver and therefore should be given back driving privileges.

The Hearing Officers at the Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD) make it no mystery as to what they want to hear in the testimonial letters.  The DLAD makes a point of stressing that the letters should come from a cross-sampling of family, friends, and co-workers in the petitioners life.  These people should be in a position to know, observe and be able to personally attest to the petitioner’s habits regarding the use of alcohol and/or controlled substances.

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It is absolutely essential that the letters are consistent.  Even a slight discrepancy can cause the Hearing Officer to become suspicious and deny the application – and this becomes a big problem.  Once denied, a person must wait an entire year before going through the entire process again.  This is a very large intrusion into most people’s lives because it costs not only additional and time, but additional money as well.

Once the letters are sent to the Driver Assessment and License Appeal Offices there is no turning back.  This is why a good attorney will take the necessary time to carefully scrutinize each and every letter to ensure that they are appropriate and meet the requirements.

The letters don’t need to be typed or have fancy language in them or sound like a lawyer wrote them.  They just need to be honest, accurate and satisfy the DLAD requirements.

The DLAD requires that each and every letter contain the following information:

-The writer’s name and relationship to the petitioner.  Make sure the writer actually signs and dates it.  The Hearing Officer’s do look for signatures.

-How often the writer sees the petitioner.  It’s okay to say that they only see you once or twice a month if this is true.

-How long has the writer actually known the petitioner?  Having a letter written by someone who’s only known the petitioner for a few weeks isn’t going to carry as much weight as a person who’s known him or her for several years.

-The date of the last time the writer saw or had knowledge of the petitioner drinking or using a controlled substance.  Even prescribed drugs!

-What the writer’s knowledge is of the petitioners past involvement with alcohol and arrests.

-Any other information that the writer believes would be beneficial for the Hearing Officer to know about the petitioner.

Because these letters are absolutely critical to a petitioner’s success at license restoration, hiring an experienced and detail oriented attorney is essential.  Only a license restoration lawyer can help you navigate the process, submit proper documents, and prepare you for the hearing.

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If you want the best chance of getting your driver’s license back in the Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb county communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Sterling Heights or any surrounding area, contact Shawn Glaza at The Law Office of Barton Morris today.

Attorney Morris has enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a trial lawyer providing high quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for 19 years. He is known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he is dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is prepared to take on complex legal issues with success. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.

Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has also graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.

Barton Morris was chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit for 2012, 2013 & 2014 for DUI/DWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. Barton Morris was also chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2014-2017 and Barton Morris is the only Lawyer in Michigan designated by the American Chemical Society as a “Forensic Lawyer-Scientist”

February 5th, 2014|