Have you lost your driver’s license due to multiple DUIs? Are you hoping to get your life and your freedom back?
One of the most common charges in the state of Michigan is a DUI charge – also known as an OWI: “Driving Under the Influence” or “Operating While Intoxicated.”
It’s one of the easiest crimes to commit and to get caught committing. If this happens to you multiple times, you will probably face losing your ability to drive legally in the state of Michigan.
The Complicated Process of Driver’s License Restoration
If you’ve lost your license in Michigan, you know how difficult it is to find public transportation here in the land of big car companies. Most likely, you are stuck getting rides from family members and friends to work, and anywhere else you want to go or paying your hard-earned money for cab fare.
You might even be tempted to drive without a license.
Let me stop right here.
Driving without a license is the worst thing you could do if you want to get your driver’s license back eventually.
Drivers with no license tend to get caught. As hard as it is not to have the freedom to drive yourself wherever you want, don’t get in the driver’s seat without a license. In the best case scenario, it will add another year onto the time you have to wait without a license.
Three Steps to Driver’s License Restoration in Michigan
It is a very complicated process to get your driver’s license restored in Michigan. Although there are three significant steps, or hurdles to jump, each one entails many sub-steps and a lot of paperwork.
Driver’s license restoration is one legal area where you could end up making things worse for yourself without the help of an attorney.
Before you can even petition the court about your license, you will need to determine your eligibility date. It’s not as straightforward as waiting a year from the time you lost your license.
In some cases, you may have to wait as many as five years. You will need to work with an experienced attorney, who will look at your official driving record, and determine how long you need to wait.
However, you carry the burden to prove to the court that you can be trusted to drive again and are committed to sobriety. In most cases, you’ll have to show that you have maintained sobriety for at least one year.
There are many steps to take before you are ready to petition for a hearing.
- Substance Abuse Evaluation – You have to make an appointment with a state-licensed substance abuse counselor to get your substance abuse issues resolved and further ensure you aren’t at risk of drinking and driving again.
- Drug screen – A 10-panel drug screening must show that you haven’t had alcohol or drugs recently, further evidence of a sober lifestyle.
- Documentation of Sobriety – This step can take some time. You may have to submit up to six notarized letters from friends, family members, and coworkers who will attest to your sobriety. They can’t be general letters but have to have specific information about the person’s relationship with you, how long they’ve known you, and the last time the person saw you using drugs or alcohol.
- Evidence Of Support – This doesn’t mean you have to attend AA meetings,. However, AA (alcoholics anonymous) can count as a place of support. A notarized letter from your sponsor would fulfill the requirement. Counseling is also an option.
This is an overview of the necessary steps. Each one of these steps can involve paperwork, calls, and waiting time to be completed.
Hearing and Decision
Your request for a hearing goes to the Secretary of State. It has to be in impeccable order, or it will not be submitted. Expect to wait 2-3 months for your hearing to take place after you send your request. The notification comes several weeks before your hearing.
Your hearing will be in front of a special hearing officer, in place of a judge, who will need you to be able to show these things:
- Your substance abuse is under control and will remain under control.
- The risk of repeating your substance abuse is low or minimal.
- The risk of you drinking and driving is low or minimal.
- You are willing and able to follow the law in future driving.
There are several hearing officers in the state of Michigan. No two hearing officers run things the same way. The decision in your case will come up to 6 weeks later, after your hearing.
If you are granted restoration, your car will need to be fitted with an interlock device. This device is an in-car breathalyzer and will be in place for at least a year. You can then petition to have it taken off.
Contact Attorney David J. Kramer Right Away
Driver’s License restoration is a complicated process. You need an experienced attorney for guidance and help. It’s not a good idea to try to do it on your own, as it could make your position worse.
This has been an overview of the steps needed to petition the state of Michigan successfully. However, if you are ready to start working on regaining your freedom, call me right away.
Let’s get you on the road again!