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Home Blog Driver's License Restoration Michigan DAAD ( SOS – DLAD) Hearing Officers

As I pointed out above, there is a certain kind of “usual” inquiry made in every license appeal: the date you last drank alcohol is relevant no matter who is deciding your case. To use a phrase that’s currently enjoying some popularity, things can get rather “complicated” after that…

The easiest way to make this point is to talk about AA. It used to be that the DAAD seemed to never give a license back to anyone who wasn’t actively attending meetings. That has changed in the last number of years, but there are still hearing officers who retain a certain bias for the AA program. In addition, each hearing officer has a different interest in and understanding of AA. One hearing officer may far more interested in a person’s ability to recite the steps, while another will focus the inquiry on a step or steps the person can explain as being important to his or her recovery. Yet another hearing officer will only inquire as to whether a person goes to AA, while the hearing officer in the next room will specifically ask a person why he or she no longer attends.

As I stated before, knowing these nuances of how your case will be decided isn’t merely some kind of advantage; knowing these things is absolutely critical to your success. As a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement lawyer, I can at least control the hearing officer variable by making sure my client is fully prepared, not just in some general way, for a “hearing,” but specifically to answer the questions put to him or her by the particular person who will be conducting it.

I point out in about a thousand places all over my website and throughout the various articles of this blog that I guarantee I will win your license back if I take your case. The phrase “if I take your case” drives the marketing people crazy, because they advise that I just say, “I guarantee a win.” Yet I proudly eschew the conventions of the shameless huckster because it’s absolutely true that I will only take a case for someone who has genuinely quit drinking. This means I only represent people who tell the truth about their sobriety. Not surprisingly, the marketing people also advise that I don’t get into all this “telling the truth” stuff, because, they say, it can alienate a “potential” client, even though that wouldn’t be anyone I would want to represent in the first place. For my part, I see my requirement that a person must have really quit drinking as a nice way to differentiate myself from other lawyers. This enables me to feel good about what I do and the person I represent. Whatever else, I always end up helping a truly deserving person put his or her life back together and finally get back on the road.

Thus, as I “prep” a client, we’ll be focusing on the details of his or her transformation from drinker to non-drinker. Key here is that all of these details will be true! How much better can it get than that? Mark Twain once said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” As applied to my clients, it means we won’t have to waste a single second putting together some phony, scam story. Instead, we can focus on winning the case fair and square.

Accordingly, to the extent I can influence, if not control, the hearing officer variable, I do that, albeit in a decent and fair way. As I’ve pointed out twice before (meaning I obviously think the point is important), knowing how to proceed in front on any particular hearing officer should not be seen as some kind of “advantage,” but as a necessary prerequisite to forging ahead with a license appeal. Because my clients are those people who have truly gotten sober, I believe that giving him or her every edge possible to win the appeal is absolutely the right thing to do, and that includes every “heads up” about the person that will be deciding the case. While there is no way to “pick” a particular hearing officer, there are numerous ways to make sure that your case is airtight and rock solid enough that it doesn’t matter to whom it’s assigned, and that there will be no errors or omissions that would trip a case up because of the hearing officer to which it has been assigned. In the final analysis, this should essentially mean that when you do walk in that hearing room, you will have been so thoroughly prepared for the hearing officer deciding your case, you’ll feel like you already know him or her.