You’ve had your license revoked, you’ve successfully endured a year with the ignition interlock device (BAIID) on your vehicle, and now you are ready to have your full driving privileges restored. It is important that this license appeal is prepared and submitted properly to ensure success the first time.
A person who’s license was revoked due to multiple DUI’s, then gets a restricted license can petition the secretory of state for a full restoration only after you have successful completion of a year with the breath alcohol interlock device in the vehicle. After that time frame has past, you will then be able to ask the Driver’s License Appeal Division for a hearing, where a hearing officer will determine whether you meet the specific criteria to have your driver’s license restored.
I already had a hearing to get my restricted license, is this hearing the same?
This hearing is almost identical to the hearing you had when you sought a restricted license. The entire point of the hearing is to convince the hearing officer that the driver’s drinking and drug use habits have been eliminated thereby ensuring safe driving. This is an extremely important step in the license restoration process because the burden is entirely on the driver to prove his or her case by clear and convincing evidence.
The first step is to complete another substance abuse evaluation (SAE). These evaluations must be current and expire after 90 days, which is why you will not be able to submit a previous one. The driver will also need to turn in letters from people in the community that know something about the driver’s past and present drinking and drug use habits. There are two new items that you will need to submit at this final hearing that you didn’t have to submit before. The hearing officer will want a final report from the ignition interlock company to ensure compliance. At the hearing, the hearing officer will review all of the documents that have been submitted and will ask you many questions to make sure your verbal answers are the same as all of the responses in the SAE and letters.
What happens if I’m denied full driving privileges at the hearing?
It is the responsibility of the driver to provide “clear and convincing” proof of sobriety and that any substance abuse problem will remain under control. You are only entitled to one hearing per year, so if the hearing officer isn’t convinced your request will be denied and you must wait another full year before re-applying for your license.
It is for these reasons that you should take Driver’s License Restoration seriously. It’s your life and your driving privileges that will be affected, and not hiring an experienced attorney could cause more harm than it’s worth.
Charlotte Steffen specializes in criminal defense and driver’s license restorations. She has been practicing law for nearly 20 years. Her experience includes thousands of criminal cases, including capital offenses and high profile cases. She began her career at the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit, handling the toughest felonies in Wayne County. She went into private practice in 2002 and has continued helping those who need it most.
Charlotte is an adjunct law professor at the Detroit Mercy Law School in the Criminal Trial Clinic. She supervises student attorneys and lectures on drunk driving and driver’s license issues. She is also on the faculty of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan in which she helps train lawyers to become trial lawyers.