In order for a Michigan driver to obtain reinstatement of his or her license, he or she must complete a substance use evaluation and request and attend a hearing with the Secretary of State. At Shorepointe Counseling, our therapists have the qualifications and experience to complete your evaluation. With our help, you can rest assured that you will receive a quality evaluation from experienced and credential therapists who understand the drivers license reinstatement process.

When Can a Driver Apply for Reinstatement?

The first revocation for drunk driving lasts for no less than 1 year, after which the driver may seek reinstatement. In the event of a second revocation within 7 years, a driver must wait 5 years to seek reinstatement.

Criteria for Reinstatement

Whether a driver’s license is reinstated is determined after a hearing in front of the Secretary of State’s Administrative Hearings Section (AHS) (also known as the Driver Assessment and Appeal Division (DAAD) or the Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD)).

The hearing panel’s decision whether to reinstate the driver’s license is strictly governed by Michigan laws and regulations. 

Subrule 13(1)(a)–(b) states the following:

(a) The hearing officer shall not order that a license be issued to the petitioner unless the petitioner proves, 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.

(b) Before ordering that a license be issued 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 for controlled substances prescribed by a licensed health care professional, 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 may include any of the following:

(i) That the petitioner has 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.

(ii) That the petitioner has 3 or more convictions for alcohol or controlled substance-related offenses.

(iii) That the petitioner has attempted to bring his or her alcohol or controlled substance abuse problems, if any, under control, but suffered a relapse by using, on at least 1 occasion, alcohol or a controlled substance, or both, except for a controlled substance prescribed for the petitioner by a licensed health professional.

(iv) That a substance abuse evaluation of the petitioner reveals a diagnosis of past or present alcohol or controlled substance dependency.

(v) That the petitioner’s license was previously revoked or denied under section 303 of the act because of alcohol or controlled substance convictions.

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

Substance Use Evaluation

As part of the reinstatement appeal process, the driver must complete a substance use evaluation with a qualified substance abuse counselor. 

The driver should bring to the evaluation a copy of his or her master driving record from Michigan and/or any other state in which he or she resided during the last 10 years. The driver should also bring logs showing attendance in sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), or other 12-step programs, proof of therapy, and/or proof of treatment.

Lifetime Support Group History – AA is considered the “gold standard” of recovery and sobriety. While not absolutely necessary to win a drivers license reinstatement, AA is strong evidence of a driver’s likelihood of maintaining sobriety.

Testing Instruments – Commonly used tests are the MAST (Michigan Alcohol Screening Test), the DAST (Drug Assessment Screening Test) and/or the SASSI (Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory). These tools are used to assist the evaluator in determining whether the driver has an alcohol or drug use disorder.

Drug Screen – This can be done at a licensed medical center or third-party lab. Your evaluator will provide you with recommendations for local testing centers.  The test must be a 10-panel drug screen with two integrity variables (See for info regardimg the 10-panel test) 

Shorepointe Specialists 

Laura A. Bloom, LMSW

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