November 2


Driver’s License Restoration – Part 1

By Mike DeYoung

November 2, 2020


You have lost your privilege to drive by having your licensed revoked.  There are two classes of revocation:

  • A 1-year mandatory minimum Revocation for 2 DUI’s within 7 years, and
  • A 5-year mandatory minimum Revocation for 3 or more DUI’s within 10 years.   

When I say DUIs I am also including in that category “DRUG Driving.”  Most people lose their license for drunk driving, but the same license revocation can occur because of drug driving or a combination of drug driving and drunk driving.  To simplify things, I will just refer to DUI but the process is identical if you had your license revoked for drug driving.

The law says that your license will be revoked for either a minimum of one year or a minimum of five years depending on your circumstances.  However, just because it says one year or five years that does not mean you get it back automatically after this time period.  Your license stays revoked until you make your appeal to the state to have your license restored.  

Driver’s License Restoration Appeals are filed with the Michigan Secretary of State’s Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD), and are ultimately decided by one of the DAAD’s Hearing Officers.   To have your  driver’s license restored,  you must by prove by Clear and Convincing Evidence that: 1) your alcohol/substance abuse problem is under control; 2)  the likelihood of repeating the past abusive behavior is low;  3) that the risk of repeating the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by, or under the influence of, alcohol or controlled substances or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance or repeating any other offense act is a low or minimal risk; and 4) you have the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.  This may sound like an easy task to convince the Hearing Officer you meet all of these requirements; it is not.    

The appeals process can begin after the minimum number of years has passed plus at least six months of voluntary sobriety.  Even if you remained sober for the entire length of the sentence, the state does not consider that to be voluntary.  Anytime there is a consequence for a violation of the law that is not considered voluntary.  In this case, the one year or the five years of not driving are not considered voluntary sobriety because it is a period imposed by a violation of the law.  Depending on how long your license was revoked, the minimum number of months after the revocation period is 6 months before you can appeal to the DAAD.  However, the number of times a hearing officer will approve an appeal after six months of sobriety is next to zero.  It is the advice of our office to begin the appeal process only after you have made the commitment to be sober, have been voluntarily sober for a year and have been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, or some other treatment. 

Mike DeYoung

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