What to Expect During Your Michigan License Appeal Hearing
In Michigan, if you’ve been convicted of a second DUI, your license will be revoked for a minimum of one (1) year. If you’ve been convicted of a third DUI, your license will be revoked for a minimum of five (5) years. This article covers what to expect during your Michigan driver’s license appeal hearing.
As your license restoration hearing approaches, it’s important to study (in depth) the Michigan driver’s license appeal hearing questions. Your responses should be honest, but thorough. The questions may seem simple on their face, but what the hearing officers are really looking for is usually much more complex.
Your specific responses will determine whether you can be trusted to safely drive – so let’s take a look at some of the standard questions:
Questions About Your Personal Relationships and Contacts
Questions about your personal relationships and contacts are more important than you think. If you’re still associating with your same “drinking buddies” and people who frequently drink, you’re not going to make a very good impression on the hearing officers.
The fact that you have superhuman-will power and you can be in a bar surrounded by your friends that are drinking and not be tempted to drink yourself isn’t the sort of answer the hearing officer’s value. Here are some of the standard questions that will be asked about the people in your life:
Who do you live with? How long have you lived together? How old are they? What do they do for a living?
Does that person drink or keep alcohol in your home? Does that person drink when they’re out of the house and by themselves or with other friends? If so, how often?
How would the people in your life feel if you started drinking again?
Being sober is a life changing event and it requires that you do more than simply fight the urge to drink. Having the right answer to these questions will mean the difference between having a license now and having to wait yet another year.
Questions About Your Driving Habits
Before you even step foot into a Michigan driver’s license restoration hearing room, you should have thoroughly reviewed your current driving record. Doing this will help you anticipate the inevitable questions that will be asked of you. Offenses on your record such as driving while license suspended, reckless driving, careless driving, speeding tickets and accident reports are going to be addressed.
Remember, the number one criteria the hearing officer is trying to determine is whether you can be trusted to drive. Here are some of the standard questions that all of the hearing officers will specifically ask:
When is the last time you came into contact with a police officer?
Have you ever driven while your license was revoked or suspended?
Do you have any reckless or careless driving tickets on your record?
Do you have any pending traffic matters?
What are the details surrounding your traffic accidents?
Have you ever had any traffic tickets that were dismissed?
Remember, the hearing officer already knows the answer to most of these questions because he or she will have your driving record right in front of them. What’s important is that you answer honestly.
Questions about your drinking habits are not necessarily about proving that you haven’t had a drop of alcohol since your last DUI arrest, but more about you showing that you’ve remained substance abuse-free for at least one year before your hearing date. The hearing officer will not only listen to your answers, but he or she will also pay a great deal of attention to the way you answer the questions.
Being honest about your sobriety date and rehabilitative efforts, and answering with confidence is your best option. Don’t be mistaken – the hearing officer will evaluate the driver’s license appeal letters you submit to determine if your rehabilitative efforts and sobriety date are the same. Any amount of contradiction will be disastrous.
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Here are some of the standard questions:
What were your drinking habits like prior to receiving your DUIs?
At the height of your drinking, how often would you say you consumed alcohol?
In the last year have you been to any bars, nightclubs, or establishments whose primary purpose is to serve alcohol?
When you attend family gatherings or other social events where alcohol is present, how do you spend your time?
Have you participated in a toast at a wedding or other celebratory event in the last year?
All of these questions aren’t intended to simply address the person you used to be, but the person you are today. If you don’t think taking a sip of champagne at a wedding is drinking, the hearing officers’ will not give any credibility to your claims of sobriety.
Some of the best lessons learned are the lessons that cause the most hardship and the hearing officer’s know that nobody is perfect. Any amount of downplaying your DUI offenses or past drinking habits will only show the hearing officer that you haven’t learned your lesson, and will make the Michigan driver’s license hearing decision easy.
If you haven’t learned your lesson, giving you the benefit of the doubt and letting you drive isn’t likely. Remember, it is the hearing officer’s job to ensure the safety of drivers on the road. The best way they can do this is making sure that you’ve learned your lesson, that you’re sincere and honest, and that you’re unlikely to ever drink and drive again.
If you or a loved one is in need of driver’s license restoration services, contact the Law Office of Barton Morris. Our license restoration attorneys aim to always create a lawyer client, and will never judge you for your past mistakes. Also, we have have a 98% success rate with Michigan driver’s license appeals and *guarantee results.