If you've lost your driving privileges because you were convicted of 2 or more DUI offenses within 7 years of each other, your driver's license is not automatically restored after the suspension period is over. You must request a Driver's License Appeal Hearing for that. During the proceeding, a hearing officer will listen to your case and determine whether to approve the restoration of your driving privileges. This means you must prove that you have learned from your past mistakes, and you are taking steps to remain rehabilitated.
Presenting Clear and Convincing Evidence
When you attend a Driver's License Appeal Hearing, the burden rests on you to prove that your driving privileges should be restored. You must present clear and convincing evidence of your rehabilitation and your commitment to avoid drinking and driving in the future. Clear and convincing evidence isn't the highest standard for legal matters. However, it still requires that you support the statements you make to show that they are likely to be true.
Arriving prepared for your Driver's License Appeal Hearing is important. If you cannot prove by clear and convincing evidence that you are sober and are committed to remaining as such, the hearing officer will likely deny your request to restore your driving privileges. Remember, your driver's license was suspended because you had multiple DUIs. In the eyes of the law, you are considered a "habitual offender" and a potential risk to the safety of the community. The hearing officer wants to make sure that they do not approve driver's license restoration for anyone who might drive while intoxicated again and place others in danger of injury or death.
If you're not prepared for your Driver's License Appeal Hearing, it's best to reschedule it (as opposed to not showing up at all), as you must wait a year before you can request another.
The Elements You Must Prove at Your Hearing
So what exactly must you prove when you meet with the hearing officer?
At your Driver's License Appeal Hearing, you must show by clear and convincing evidence that you:
- Have gotten your alcohol abuse problem under control
- Are committed to keeping your alcohol abuse problem under control
- Have taken steps that will keep you from drinking and driving again
- Are motivated to drive safely in the future and obey the law
One of the ways you can prove that you are remaining on the path of rehabilitation is by attending meetings of a recognized support group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This shows that you realize you have an alcohol abuse problem, and you are actively participating in programs that will help you solve that problem.
When scheduling your hearing, you must provide 3 to 6 letters of support from people who have had contact with you and know how you are managing your use of alcohol. References from leaders of AA meetings and the like can help you as you make your case to the hearing officer.
How Tanis Schultz Can Help
Losing your driving privileges can be a tremendous burden on your life. You might have trouble getting to work or school or have difficulties taking care of other necessary tasks. This can put a strain on your relationships and might also result in the loss of your job. At Tanis Schultz, our Grand Rapids lawyers know the stresses associated with a driver's license suspension, which is why we provide skilled guidance throughout the Driver's License Appeal Hearing process. We will help you prepare your arguments by gathering evidence that supports your claims and presenting them to the hearing officer.Learn more about how we can help by calling us at (616) 227-3737 or contacting us online