Rule 13

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Driver’s License Restoration – Rule 13 

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In order to have any chance at winning a Driver’s License Restoration case, first and foremost, you must be sober

There is a lot that goes into a driver’s license restoration but there are two main points that must be proven in order to win:

  1. That your alcohol or substance use problem is under control, and
  2. That your alcohol or substance use problem is likely to remain under control. 

What You Need to Prove to Get Your License Back

Pursuant to Rule 13, the law of Michigan that govern Driver’s License Restoration hearings, the Petitioner must prove by clear and convincing evidence, all of the following: 

(i) That the petitioner’s alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control.

(ii) That the risk of the petitioner repeating his or her past abusive behavior is a low or minimal risk.

(iii) That the risk of the petitioner 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 listed in section 303(1)(d), (e), or (f) or (2)(c), (d), (e), or (f) of the act is a low or minimal risk.

(iv) That the petitioner has the ability and motivation to drive safely and within the law.

(v) Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified in paragraphs (i) to (iv) of this subdivision.

Prior to granting a license to the petitioner, the hearing officer shall require that the petitioner prove by clear and convincing evidence that he or she has completely abstained from the use of alcohol and controlled substances, except those prescribed by a licensed physician, for a period of not less than 6 consecutive months or has abstained for a period of not less than 12 consecutive months if the evidence considered at the hearing establishes that a longer period of abstinence is necessary. 

The evidence to establish if a longer period of abstinence is necessary is:

  1. That the petitioner ever submitted to a chemical test which revealed a bodily alcohol content that is not less than 2 times the level indicated in section 625a(9)(c) of the act.
  2. That the petitioner has 3 or more convictions for alcohol or controlled substance-related offenses (this does include MIP’s and non-driving related substance offenses). 
  3. That the petitioner has attempted to bring their alcohol or controlled substance abuse problem under control but suffered a relapse by using on at least one occasion alcohol or controlled substances, or both again.
  4. That a substance use evaluation of the petitioner reveals a diagnosis of past or present alcohol or controlled substance dependency. 
  5. That the petitioner’s license was previously revoked or denied under section 303 of the act because of alcohol or controlled substance convictions.
  6. Other showings that are relevant to the issues identified. 

In summary, a petitioner must be sober for a period of 12 consecutive months in order to have their driver’s license reinstated by the Secretary of State. 

Habitual Alcohol Offender

Often times people divide themselves into two groups– those that accept and acknowledge that their drinking has become a problem and those that do not. We are, in no way, here to diagnose or tell someone that they have a problem with alcohol or substances. When it comes to getting your driver’s license back, someone facing or convicted of a second or third offense drunk driving needs to understand that in these cases, the court and the Secretary of State automatically presume that a drinking problem exists. Under Michigan law, if you are convicted of a second drunk driving within 7 years you are considered a “habitual alcohol offender.” This “habitual alcohol offender” is the exact status that results in the license revocation. This status is also the status that requires the Judge to order the individual into counseling and that requires the individual to petition the Secretary of State for their license back. 

The Secretary of State deems that if you have a second, or third offense drunk driving, that you are now a risk behind the wheel, not only to yourself but to others and they presume that you have a problem with alcohol. The Secretary of State Hearing Officers are therefore required to only issue licenses to those individuals who have quit drinking for good. If the Hearing Officers believe that you do not have control of your drinking (or substance use), will drink in the future, or do not accept an alcohol diagnosis, they will not even consider granting a license – even a restricted license. 

Generally speaking, unless a petitioner has been sober for a very long time, the Secretary of State will require the petitioner, if granted a license, to drive for the first year on a restricted license with an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle. Once the petitioner has driven with the interlock for one year, they can go back in front of the Secretary of State to request full driving privileges. 

To learn more about how to get your driver’s license back, contact Tanis Schultz, PLLC at 616-608-7149 or use our contact form today to speak to an experienced Grand Rapids DLR attorney to learn more about the process. 

We handle cases in:

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