To win back your driving privileges, proving to the Michigan Secretary of State hearing officers that your alcohol problem is under control and likely to remain under control is imperative. But sometimes that isn’t enough.
I have been to several license restoration hearings where a client has demonstrated by the required clear and convincing evidence that their alcohol problem is under control but an issue comes up when this one simple question is asked:
Are you currently taking any prescribed medications?
How you handle this question can make or break your case.
Taking prescribed medications is clearly legal and no one would expect you or anyone else to keep this secret. However, the reason you need this medication and the effect your medication could have on your ability to drive safely is of major concern to the hearing officers. Taking Xanax to relieve anxiety is completely different than taking Carbamazepine to help reduce and prevent seizures. You can see how the hearing officers would be more concerned with the later.
I see all types of clients who take many different medical conditions. Conditions range from anxiety, heart problems and Crohn’s disease to diabetes and back problems. All of these clients have had their driving privileges restored and their hearings have gone smoothly because the required documentation from their doctor was submitted.
One of the first matters of business I go over with my client is to inquire as to whether they are taking any sort of medication. My goal is to address any potential problem sooner rather than later. If they are I ask them to have their doctor fill out a form called the Physician Statement of Examination. This is a form specifically provided by the Secretary of State and it allows your doctor to answer all the important questions that the hearing officer will want to know about you. These questions include:
- How long have you been taking the medication?
- How long you plan to remain on the medication?
- How often you see your doctor to monitor your progress?
- Does your condition interfere with your ability to drive?
- Does your medication interfere with your ability to drive?
Your physician’s statement of examination can sometimes be the most important part of our license restoration case. This form allows the hearing officer to hear directly from your doctor that your medications are monitored and that they won’t have an impact on your ability to drive safety.
Having this information will allow the hearing officer to grant you your driving privileges without worrying about any “what if’s.”
At the Law Office of Barton Morris we make sure you are taken care of from beginning to end and we make sure that no questions are left unanswered for the hearing officers. This is why our success rate is among the highest. If you or someone you know are in need of driver’s license restoration services call the Law Office of Barton Morris today.
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.