Restoring a Driver's License in Michigan

Getting your license revoked by the state for multiple DUI/OWI convictions can severely interfere with your employment, obligations, and daily life. While Michigan law mandates strict punishments for those who repeatedly operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, restoring a driver’s license that has been revoked is possible for you.

Generally, restoring your license will be determined by a hearing with the Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD). This process can be very complex and is best handled by skilled attorneys to ensure success. This is especially true with regards to a first attempt at license restoration, as, if you are denied, prior attempted hearings are relevant to any future hearings. Further, if you are denied, you must wait an additional year to try again.

Who is eligible to apply for a driver’s license reinstatement?

To restore your license, there are a few key criteria required to meet Secretary of State guidelines:

  1. If you have been convicted of two OWI’s/DUI’s within seven years and your license was revoked, you must wait one full year from your last conviction to apply for reinstatement.
  2. If you have been convicted of three or more OWI’s/DUI’s within ten years and your license was revoked, you must wait five years from your last conviction to be eligible.

Despite the time constraints, you are permitted to file for a hearing to determine reinstatement up to six weeks prior to your actual eligibility date (outlined above).

What do I have to prove in order to restore my driver’s license?

In order to prepare the evidence required to restore your driver’s license, you should understand the DAAD’s Rule 13. A brief summary of this rule is listed below:

  1. That the applicant’s substance abuse problems are under control and expected to remain under control.
  2. That the chance of repeating past behavior is at a low or minimal risk.
  3. That you have the motivation and the ability to drive a motor vehicle safely and legally.

The applicant may also need to provide proof of sobriety for a period of one year prior to a hearing.

The documents that will be required to prove compliance with the DAAD’s Rule 13 include:

  1. The Secretary of State’s Request for a Hearing form.
  2. The Substance Abuse Evaluation Form. This form is completed after an evaluation from a licensed Substance Abuse Counselor.
  3. Six Testimonial Letters. These are letters of support and must include specific and relevant information.
  4. Results of a 10-panel drug test
  5. Proof of your participation in a substance abuse support group
  6. A final report of the ignition interlock device, if you were required to install one

What is the best way to win my case?

Ensure (or have your lawyer make sure) that there are no inconsistencies in the material you present at or before the hearing. Verify that the substance abuse evaluation was administered adequately and that you are completely honest with the therapist so that he or she has all of the information necessary to properly evaluate your situation.

What if I refused to consent to a chemical test?

For those who have violated Michigan’s implied consent law by refusing to consent to a chemical test after arrest, you must schedule an administrative hearing within 14 days of your arrest. A failure to request an administrative hearing within the 14-day time period will result in a one or two-year suspension of your driver’s license.

If you are not sure if you are being charged with this type of refusal, take a look at your paper license. If the upper left hand corner contains the indication of DI-177, then there is no implied consent refusal. If the paper license indicates DI-93, the implied consent law applies, and you need to take the proper steps to secure your driving privileges.

Furthermore, administrative hearings also take place when there has been a fatal accident as part of a drunk driving offense, and when a driver has been convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses.

Let White Law PLLC Help You

Hearings to restore one’s license generally last one hour or less and are decided by a DAAD officer. Properly preparing for this hearing is important, and the process may be very complex and hard to understand without the expertise of a skilled attorney. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at White Law PLLC today to start a new chapter in your life and win back your freedom.