Restoring a revoked driver license for multiple drunk driving arrests requires proof that the substance abuse problem that caused the arrests is under control. A very important piece of evidence proving that someone’s drinking or drug problem will no longer keep the petitioner from being a safe driver is the Substance Abuse Evaluation (SAE). It must be completed by a qualified substance abuse counselor. Only they would know best.
Just like the testimonial letters, the SAE must be completely accurate. Attention to detail is critical and an experienced attorney will know exactly what to look for when reviewing it. If a defective SAE gets submitted it could ruin the possibility of success before you even show up for the hearing.
The SAE is a form that is completed by a licensed counselor or substance abuse therapist. The SAE form is standard in Michigan and the therapist or doctor will go over the following topics with the Petitioner:
- Lifetime Conviction History – The doctor will rely on the information you give them. Having your attorney go over your driving record with you will ensure that your information is accurate.
- Testing Instruments – The doctor will give you a written test. The test is given so that the doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis. Knowing what sort of things are on the test and how to prepare for the test is something your attorney will go over with you thoroughly.
- Lifetime Treatment History for Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse – Again, this is something the doctor will rely on you to give them. The doctor will want to know what sort of drinking and drug treatment programs you have completed.
- Lifetime Support Group History – Under this section, you will list any support groups that you have attended in the past or are currently attending know. Support groups include AA, church groups and other counseling groups that help you cope with your drinking problem.
- Diagnostic Impression – After the doctor scores your written test and reviews your drug test they will make a diagnosis of your substance abuse problem.
- Continuum of Care – If the doctor believes you need to continue substance abuse counseling it will be noted under this section.
- Lifetime Relapse History – The doctor will rely on your honesty for this section. They will ask you if you have ever relapsed and the reasons why.
- Analysis and Other Observations/Factors – Under this section the doctor will put any additional factors that they believe are important for you and the hearing officer to understand about your sobriety.
After you have completed this evaluation, the Doctor or therapist should mail it to your attorney. The attorney will meet with you and go over the form in detail to make sure that it is an accurate description of you and your history. The testimonial letters go hand-in-hand with the SAE. 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. It is absolutely essential that the letters corroborate what is in the SAE.
If you are trying to have your driving privileges restored in the Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb county communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Warren, Troy, Sterling Heights or any surrounding area and want the best Driver License Restoration attorneys, Call the Law Office of Barton Morris.
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.