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Home Blog Driver's License Restoration Sobriety is the First Requirement to Win Your Michigan License Restoration Appeal

For everything that goes into a Michigan driver’s license restoration or clearance appeal, there is one thing that is, by far, more important than any and all of it combined:


It is the first and most critical thing required to win a license reinstatement case, and it’s what my team and team and I spend most of our days chasing.

Anyone exploring this section of our website, or the hundreds of Michigan driver’s license restoration articles on my blog can figure out that our firm is rather passionate about this field. We really love our work.

Being Michigan driver’s license restoration attorneys is really the best lawyer job you can have, because this is the only legal field where you have the pleasure of dealing with people on the upswing of their lives. 

In most other real-world legal situations, a lawyer is called upon because someone is in trouble. DUI cases are a perfect example: when someone gets arrested, they call a lawyer to help them out of it.

In license restoration and clearance appeal cases, we get to deal with people who have moved way past that point in their lives.

Often, our license restoration clients shake their heads as we talk about who they used to be, back when they were drinking, and what a different person they have become as a non-drinker. 

Every single one of them agrees that getting sober has made them a much better person now than they were before, when they were screwing around and racking up DUI’s.

Everyone’s story is unique, but every sober person will tell you how much better their lives have become without alcohol.  

The AA people have a saying about this: “My worst day sober is still better than my best day drunk.”

Even people who were just binge drinkers or “weekend warriors” agree that sobriety is the best thing that ever happened to them.

In the world of Michigan driver’s license restoration, sobriety is the first requirement to even seriously consider filing a license appeal. 

This goes right to the main inquiry in a Michigan driver’s license reinstatement appeal: Are you really sober?

Have you quit drinking for good

Are you committed to remaining sober

Do you understand that “sober” means free of all mood and mind-altering substances – including marijuana?

Our firm will only take a cases for a people who are really and truly alcohol (and drug) free. 

There are, of course, some people think they can “fake” being sober to the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS).

As I noted above, the whole point of the license appeal process is to make sure a person has really given up drinking and screen out those whose commitment to remaining sober is anything less than complete. 

Make no mistake, the Secretary of State hearing officers can “smell” a faker or a scammer a mile away. 

The basis of their jobs is to deny a case unless the person proves his or her sobriety by what the law specifies as “clear and convincing evidence.”

You cannot fake sobriety, but that doesn’t stop people from trying – although it sure stops them from winning. 

My team and I want no part of that. We’re not interested in representing anyone who isn’t genuinely sober.

Our integrity is not for sale. 

We make our livings helping people who have worked hard to make the transition from drinker to non-drinker. These folks have put in the time and effort to get sober, and have usually waited a long time to win back their licenses. 

We’re glad to help them put what is often the final piece of the puzzle back into place by winning back the ability to drive again, legally.

Perhaps the reader, in his or her research, has stumbled across the word “abstinence” in the context of license appeals. Abstinence simply means to have abstained from drinking, meaning not having consumed any alcohol for a given period of time. 

Being abstinent for a given period of time, however, does not necessarily imply a commitment to remain that way forever.

Sobriety is qualitatively different than abstinence. Sobriety necessarily requires abstinence, but it also involves a plan to remain abstinent forever. 

All sober people are abstinent, but not all abstinent people are sober.

Our job, as  Michigan drivers license restoration lawyers, is to make sure we successfully prove your case and win your license back.

Sobriety is the first requirement to win a license appeal. There is, of course, much more to the process than just being sober, but without true sobriety, none of it matters, and a person can forget about winning their license back.

And this brings us to a kind of “catch” in the whole Michigan license restoration process: the Secretary of State will deny the appeals of a few sober people whose proof isn’t strong enough, and have them come back next year, before it will ever let anyone who is NOT completely sober slip through the cracks and win a license appeal. 

This is why these cases are so hard, and why the bar is set so high. This is where our expertise can make the difference between driving again, or bumming rides for the next year.

We require that a person be committed to sobriety before any or us will become their Michigan driver’s license restoration lawyers.

Anyone who has gotten sober knows that getting clean brings incalculable rewards, and in time, one of those is the ability to drive again, legally. 

We can help with that, and we derive great satisfaction from helping someone win back what they have worked so hard to get. Anyone who becomes our client deserves to win his or her license appeal, and when we take a case, they will win it. 


When all is said and done, my team and I get a heartfelt and priceless “thank you” from our clients, and that always makes our day!

As much as getting back on the road begins with sobriety, it ends with sobriety, as well.