What the SOS Requires the Testimonial Letters to Contain
The problem with most first drafts of the letters that my client submits is that they contain irrelevant, vague, or even harmful information. What the SOS hearing officers are concerned with is when and why the petitioner quit drinking and how you know this. They don’t care about how nice of a person the petitioner is or how charitable they are, what a hardship it has been on them and their family. The last one is the worst. So many letters talk about how terrible not having a license has been on the petitioner and his family. What the DAAD hears when they see this is that even though the petitioner drove drunk, multiple times, and placed innocent lives at risk, his only concern and remorse seems to be the inconvenience it has caused him. That type of letter will not help you get your license back.
The letters should mention petitioner’s sobriety date and how they know he is alcohol free now. If the person writing the reference letter only sees petitioner at the annual summer conference and officer holiday party, that won’t be enough to convince the Secretary of State. The letter needs to attest how often they are around the petitioner and abuse him in situations where he does not drink or where other people might be drinking but he does not. The testimonial letters need to prove that the petitioner has quite drinking, not attest to his character. The DAAD could care less if you are the greediest, most unlikeable person on the fact on the face of earth, as long as you don’t drink anymore and you have no other medical problems that would prevent you from being a safe driver.
You have to convince the DAAD of your abstinence and that you are likely to stay abstinence. While they only require abstinence for six months, I won’t touch a case unless the client has been sober for at least a year. When they say abstinent they mean totally abstinent. No drinking. Period. That means no evening cocktails or night caps, no glass of wine at cousin Bill’s wedding, no sip of champaign to ring in the new year, no non-alcoholic beer (even that has some alcohol in it). Sobriety in a controlled environment won’t count either. It’s wonderful you’ve been sober for the last 10 years—but if the reason why is because you’ve been in prison won’t count. Time on probation or parole is viewed the same way. Even staying in a halfway or transitional living house is viewed as “forced sobriety” because you have somebody watching over you waiting to hit you with a penalty if you mess up.
Michigan Driver’s License Reinstatement Lawyer
Driver’s license restoration and reinstatements are a very complex and intricate practice. In order to be successful you need a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of what the DAAD is looking for and if you qualify. An experienced driver’s license appeals lawyer can help you with the letters of support and other aspects of your petition to help get you back on the road.
If you had two drunk driving convictions within seven years, you will have to wait at least a year before you can request a hearing. If you had three drunk driving convictions within 10 years, you will have to wait at least five years to request a hearing. You can send in your petition up to six weeks before your eligibility date. Make sure all your court costs, fines, and driver’s responsibility fees are paid, you have not pending criminal charges, and you are not currently on probation or parole.
To determine if you are eligible to have your Michigan driver’s license reinstated, contact Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to our Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney at (517) 614-1983 today!
Representing clients in driver’s license appeals and restorations and ignition interlock violations throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Jackson, Washtenaw, Clinton, Gratiot, Barry, Shiawassee, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and in the cities of Lansing, Charlotte, Howell, Jackson, Ann Arbor, St. Johns, Ithaca, Hastings, Corunna, Durand, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids.