Michigan Driver License Restorations For Revocations Based Upon Multiple Drinking and Driving Convictions

In Michigan, there are many circumstances which can result in revocation of driver’s license. A person’s license is subject to mandatory revocation for obtaining 2 drinking and driving convictions within 7 years or 3 drinking and driving convictions within 10 years. A person who is revoked for drinking and driving is known as a habitual offender of Michigan drinking and driving laws. The driver license restoration process is complex and lawyers with experience before the Michigan Driver Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD) can greatly increase a revoked person’s chances of getting his or her Michigan driver’s license restored.

A first time revocation is for a minimum period of 1 year and a second lifetime revocation is for a minimum period of 5 years. A person whose license is revoked may not operate a vehicle indefinitely until the person is granted driving privileges before the Michigan Driver Appeal and Assessment Division (DAAD) of the Michigan Secretary of State.

Upon eligibility and after waiting the minimum revocation period, a revoked party may begin the process of license restoration. The revoked party, called the petitioner, must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the alcohol or substance abuse problems are under control and likely to remain under control. If a person fails to meet this high standard of proof, the revocation is affirmed and another hearing is allowed after one (1) year. Many times, I have seen documentation which is submitted to the DAAD that actually harms a client’s case and results in a continuation of the revocation. Our Michigan license restoration attorneys have obtained driving privileges for parties with 5 or more drinking and driving cases because we know the process, review the questions and make sure that all documentation submitted to the DAAD will bolster our client’s case.

Upon winning your driver license restoration hearing, a party is required to have the ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle for a period of 1 year. This is an alcohol monitoring device which requires breath samples of a person while he is operating a vehicle. The device information is periodicallly downloaded by the installer. An ignition interlock system – Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is a breath alcohol analyzer with computer logic and internal memory that interconnects with the ignition and other systems of a motor vehicle. The purpose of the BAIID is to measure the bodily alcohol conctent (BAC) of an intended driver and to prevent the motor vehicle from being started if the BAC exceeds the .025.

If the person has successfully operated a vehicle with the interlock device on the vehicle for 1 year and again meets the burden of proof, a full license will be granted. If the person had failed on the interlock device, or is unable to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the alcohol or substance abuse problems are under control, then the person’s revocation may be reinstated or the DAAD may consider allowing the petitioner to drive with the ignition interlock device for an extended period.

A person who has an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle is advised not to allow anyone else to blow into the device or to use any substances containing alcohol such as mouthwash or cold medicines. The state will attribute any alcohol readings as those of the petitioner.

A person who loses a hearing before the DAAD may appeal the decision to the Circuit Court based upon:

  • The hearing officer decision is not supported by competent, material and substantial evidence on the whole record, and/or,
  • The hearing officer decision is arbitrary, capricious or clearly an abuse or unwarranted exercise of discretion.

It is much preferable to win at the first hearing. For this reason, an experienced Michigan license restoration attorney can sift through a person’s substance abuse history, counseling history, relapse history, prior cases, probation records and driving record to prepare an individual strategy for the license appeal.