Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower Michigan.

Attorney DeBruin represents clients from across lower michigan.

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Do I need to be sober to restore my driver’s license in Michigan?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Alcohol Offenses

After a DUI conviction, your license is going to be suspended for a significant period of time, potentially even years. In fact, your license suspension could last between one and five years depending on the circumstances of your case.

That can create a lot of disruption in your life, making it hard to get to work, take your children to school, visit family members, and meet up with friends. Fortunately, you might have the ability to get your license back, but you’re going to have to convince the state to do so.

Part of this is demonstrating that you’re 100% sober. So, to answer the question posed above, yes, you do have to demonstrate that you’ve been sober before you can request that you get your license back.

Even admitting that you have an occasional drink or only had a celebratory glass of wine on your birthday will be enough for the state to deny you reinstatement of your license.

Under Michigan law, before you can seek license reinstatement you generally have to show that you’ve been sober for at least a year. While you might think that your word is enough to prove this sobriety, it may not be enough.

The state wants to ensure that it doesn’t let drivers back on the road who have a drinking problem, so they oftentimes deny weaker showings of sobriety out of an abundance of caution.

How do you present strong evidence of sobriety?

Witness testimony can certainly be helpful, but you shouldn’t overlook other evidence that the state might find compelling. This includes certified records from treatment facilities showing that you completed some sort of addiction recovery course or other form of treatment. If you’ve been randomly screening on a consistent basis, then the results of these screens can also be beneficial.

Remember, you must prove that your alcohol abuse problem is under control. You also have to show that you’re at low risk of repeating your drinking and driving behavior. The law also allows the state to look at any other relevant factors that may speak to your rehabilitation and how you have your drinking under control. So, as you start thinking about how to present evidence of your sobriety, be sure you’re targeting your evidence to these elements.

Don’t lie or misconstrue the facts pertaining to your sobriety

Given the hardship license suspension forces upon you, it’s tempting to stretch the truth about your abstinence and sobriety to try to secure license reinstatement. But you have to avoid lying or otherwise misconstruing the facts. Doing so is perjury, a crime in and of itself, and your attorney is under an ethical obligation to avoid presenting testimony that they know to be false.

So, if you’re going to struggle to prove your sobriety, then you’re better off waiting awhile until you apply for license reinstatement. That said, if you have questions about whether your evidence is sufficient, then be sure to discuss it with your attorney.

Confidently pursue license reinstatement after a DUI

The license reinstatement process can be confusing. However, there are concrete steps that you can take to position yourself for successful application in a timely manner. To increase your chances of securing the outcome you want, be sure to read up on the law and how you can apply it favorably to your set of circumstances.