The Privilege to Drive      May Be Taken Away ...  and   May Be Restored

Your driving record is one that could potentially stay with you forever, and the cost of preserving it is worthwhile. When you get a moving violation or traffic ticket, not only can the Court impose hefty fines and costs for the violation, but the Secretary of State will "abstract" the violation on your record, and report points to your car insurance carrier, which have a rippling effect in penalty and monetary fines over time. As soon as you receive a ticket, you will have very little time, generally within a week or two, to file an appearance and protect your interest in keeping your fines to a minimum and your record clean. In particular when driving is part of your employment, as in Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDL), it is crucial you keep your record as clean as possible. The Lex Firm has helped hundreds of individuals obtain zero points and outright dismissals on traffic violations in District Courts across the State of Michigan. Some examples of common traffic violations include:

Failure to Yield to Emergency Vehicles (NOTE: This offense if a Misdemeanor)

Auto Accidents

Careless or Reckless Driving (Example: Drag Racing)

Speeding and Limited Access

Commercial Vehicle and CDL Violations

 --- All Moving Violations ---

The Privilege to Drive Could Be Restored...

In Michigan, a driver who has had his or her license revoked for suspensions, multiple drunk driving or substance offenses will be required to request a hearing with the Secretary of State's Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD).

Generally, in order to prevail at a DAAD hearing you must show two things.  First, that your substance abuse problem is under control and likely to remain under control, and second, that the likelihood that you will again drink and then drive while drunk is low or minimal.

You must have a properly prepared and persuasive substance abuse evaluation.  It will be important that the therapist preparing your evaluation have complete information about you, your treatment and relapse history, the number of prior alcohol related offenses and of course, your sobriety date.  You must show a minimum of either six or twelve months of complete abstinence from alcohol and drugs, but most people must show at least twelve months.  The substance abuse evaluation must be accompanied by a 10 panel drug screen and a copy of the "testing instrument" must also accompany the evaluation.  The substance abuse evaluation must give an appropriate diagnosis and prognosis, and must state in certain terms that you are at low risk if your license is restored.

You must also have 3 - 5 testamentary letters from friends, family, co-workers, clergy, support group members and other members of the community who know you well enough to write such a letter.  To the extent that the writer would have such knowledge, these letters should include the same type of information as the substance abuse evaluation, i.e., your treatment and relapse history, the number of prior alcohol related offenses and of course, your sobriety date).

Your own sworn testimony at the hearing will be the third critical aspect to the evidence you will submit in hopes of meeting your burden of proof.

It will also be necessary for you to present some evidence of participation in a structured support group.  This typically means AA, but attendance and participation in AA is not determinative, but very persuasive.

Under some circumstances, a Petition to the appropriate Circuit Court appealing the Secretary of State's decision regarding an applicant's license restoration might be necessary to succeed.


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