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Published by Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Attorney Jeffrey J. Randa

August 28, 2015

Driver's License Appeals in Michigan - Restoraton After a long time Without Driving

In my role as a Michigan driver's license restoration lawyer. I often hear some say that he or she hasn't driven for years and years, as if that might help win his or her license back. While I completely understand the frustration behind such a statement, the cold, hard truth is that it couldn't matter less how long someone has been without a license. My job is to help people win back their driver's license, and a part of that (the part that has me spending as much time as I do writing these articles ) is to help them understand how things work. and why. Part of that, in turn, is not wasting time on those things that don't work. Driver's license appeals have nothing to do with how long you haven't driven, and raising this issue amounts to nothing more than a waste of breath.

This is a bitter pill to swallow, and it seems unfair. It is normal to wonder, "Haven't I been punished enough?" as you struggle to get around without a license. It may help you understand this situation a little better by thinking of the revocation of your license not as a pure punishment, but rather as a consequence of that 2nd or 3rd DUI. Jail, fines and probation with its various conditions are really the punishments for driving drunk. The license revocation is imposed not so much to punish the offender, but rather with the thought of protecting the

public from the offender. In lots of cases, including 1st offense DUI cases, there is a suspension of the driver's license that is punitive in nature. A suspension proscribes a specific period when a person cannot drive. In a sense, having your driver's license suspended is like being suspended from school for a certain period of time.

A revocation is meant to keep someone off the road completely, and is imposed for life, or at least until the person appeals to the Secretary of State (through its Administrative Hearing Section, or AHS ) and wins back the privilege to drive by proving that he or she has not, does not and will not drink alcohol anymore. Being revoked is like being expelled from school; you're out for good, plain and simple. The idea here is that the driver and alcohol don't mix, and that the driver didn't figure that out well enough the first time, so rather than screw around with a punishment, like a license suspension, it's time to get this person off the road permanently and eliminate the risk. And right here is where we get to the heart of the matter. From the point of view of the overall good of society, the difficulty and inconvenience caused to the offending driver, and perhaps his or her immediate circle, by not being able to drive is far outweighed by eliminating the larger risk to everyone that he or she presents by being on the road and demonstrably unable to refrain from drinking and driving. This makes sense, but it really sucks when you're the offender. And this isn't even the half of it.

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