Drunk Driving Arrest: How to Get Your License Back

By: Jonathan M. Jones, Attorney at Law

As of 1999, Michigan's drunk driving laws state that if you are convicted of drunk driving your license can be revoked - possibly for the rest of your life. The decision to revoke someone's license and the duration of the revocation are based upon the number of prior drunk-driving convictions there are on a person's record over a specified time period.

In cases where your license is revoked, it is possible to get it back. To do this, you'll have to file for a request for restoration through the Michigan Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. Considerations for restoring a revoked license are as follows:

Drunk Driving: Restoring Your Michigan Drivers License

If you have two drunk driving convictions within seven years, you may request a restoration hearing one year after the revocation

If you have three drunk driving convictions within ten years, you may request a restoration after either one year or after five years following the revocation

If you have had your licensed revoked at any time in the seven years prior to the current revocation, you must wait for five years before you may request to have your license restored.

A qualified lawyer will be able to review your driving record and help you to determine when you may be eligible to request a restoration of a revoked Michigan driver's license.

Requesting a Restoration Hearing

As stated above, any request for a restoration hearing in Michigan must be made to the Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division. Having a qualified lawyer on your side during this process is absolutely imperative, because if you go to the hearing and lose, you will not be permitted to request another hearing for one additional year. Always ensure you have all the necessary documents in order before you file your request for a hearing. Review the completed documents with your lawyer to ensure there are no errors or omissions from them. Don't give the hearing officer a reason to deny your filing based on the paperwork! This is easily avoidable.

Required Documents

Substance abuse evaluation: This evaluation must be conducted by a qualified professional and the paperwork must be complete, accurate, and up-to-date. Attached to the evaluation must be a copy of the questions you were asked as well as your answers to them. The goal of this evaluation is to determine whether you have an alcohol abuse problem. Urinalysis: This test must be conducted to test for the presence of various drugs in your system. Even if you were convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (not drugs) this test is mandatory because the results could be indicative that you have replaced alcohol abuse with dependence on another drug.

You will need only the substance abuse evaluation to obtain a hearing date. At the hearing, you'll also need to present letters from members of your community attesting to the fact that you have abstained from alcohol and/or drugs. These letters must all be notarized.

Remember, the burden of proof in a restoration hearing is on you. There is no presumption of innocence in a restoration hearing. You have to prove that you have abstained from the use of alcohol and drugs and that you are worthy of being given another chance. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you get your drivers license restored after you are convicted or arrested for drunk driving.