10 Panel Drug Screen in Driver’s License Restoration Hearing

10 Panel Drug Screen

Lansing Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Attorney

If you have lost your Michigan driver’s license due to multiple drunk driving convictions, getting it back is very difficult. If you have two or more OWIs in a seven-year period you must wait at least one year before petitioning the Secretary of State. If you have had three OWIs in a 10-year period, you must wait at least five years before petitioning to have your driver’s license reinstated. The process is quite tedious. If you make the slightest misstep, it could be fatal. In your petition you must include copies of all your driving records, your abstinence history, support group (AA) attendance, letters of community support (testimonial letters) attesting to your sobriety, substance abuse evaluation, and a 10-panel drug screen.

10 Panel Drug Screen

The Secretary of State (SOS) will not accept just any drug screen or drug test, it specifically must be a 10-panel drug screen with two integrity variables. Many substance abuse evaluators do seven-panel drug screens but this will not suffice. It is also crucial that the drug screen has the proper integrity variables or else the SOS will not accept it. It is important to retain an experienced Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney to not only navigate you through the cumbersome and extensive process, prepare you for and represent you at the hearing, but to make sure you get the proper 10-panel drug screen done at a licensed facility. A lawyer who is familiar with the driver’s license restoration process will be able to make recommendations as to which substance abuse evaluators and drug testing facilities you can use.

What is a 10 Panel Drug Screen?

A 10 panel drug screen is a test performed by a laboratory for the purpose of determining the amounts, if any, of any illicit or illegal substances in your body. It is usually done by a urinalysis. It’s 10 panels because it detects for 10 different types of drugs including: alcohol (ethanol), opiates, amphetamines, benzoylecgaine (cocaine), barbiturates, methadone, phencyclidine (PCP), benzodiazepines, marijuana (THC), propoxyphene. The results also include readings for the integrity variables creatinine, pH and specific gravity of the urine test.

Preparing for the Test

Creatinine is a breakdown of the product of creatine. It is removed completely from the body by the kidneys. Certain medications can effect the outcome of the drug screen and you may have to temporarily refrain from taking them. The most common are antibiotics (cefoxitin, trimethoprim), cimetidine, and cisplatin. However, never stop taking medications, even for a little while, without consulting your doctor. If you fear your medications may negatively impact your drug screen you can always have your doctor write a letter to the hearing officer explaining the situation.

The creatinine level determines if the urine sample has been diluted or otherwise altered. One should refrain from drinking an excess of water or coffee before the urinalysis because it can reduce the amount of creatinine and make the test appears suspicious to a hearing officer. Many people have unwittingly failed a drug screen because of drinking too much water beforehand.

Michigan Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer

Attempting to gain back your driving privileges without an experience attorney guiding you through the process is not a good idea. One wrong step and you will be denied. Not only does that mean you have to wait another year before re-applying, but your case is now harder because now you have to show why the reason you were denied the last time is no longer an issue on top of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that your drinking is under control, your drinking is likely to remain under control, and there are no other medical problems that would prevent you from driving safely. A lawyer with experience in representing clients before the Driver’s License Appeals and Assessment Division (DAAD) hearing officers will help you prepare for your hearing, properly fill out the petition and accompanying documents, as well as the 10 panel drug screen.

If you have lost your license due to multiple DUI convictions contact Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan Driver’s License Appeals attorney to discuss your eligibility.

Representing clients at Secretary of State driver’s license restoration hearings throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Shiawassee, Washtenaw, Livingston, Calhoun, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Barry, Kent, Genesee in the cities of Lansing, Howell, Charlotte, St. Johns, Ithaca, Cadillac, Ann Arbor, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Flint, Hastings.

Restoring Your Michigan Driving Privileges


Lansing Michigan Driver’s License Appeals and Restoration Attorney


In Michigan, if you have two or more drunk driving convictions (OWI, OWVI, OUIL, UBAL) within seven years or three such convictions within ten years, you will lose your driving privileges and have to pay dearly to get them back. Losing your license for any length of time can be burdensome;not only on yourself but on those around you who have now become your defacto chauffeurs. And if you have more than one revocation within seven years, you will have to wait five years before applying to get your driving privileges back.When it comes to drunk driving, Michigan doesn’t mess around.

Your first step in getting your license back after you have waited the mandatory time period, is to apply for a hearing with the Drivers Assessment and Appeals Division (DAAD). The burden of proof is on you, the petitioner, to demonstrate through “clear and convincing evidence” that you deserve to have your license back. At a bare minimum, you will have to demonstrate and affirm complete abstinence from alcohol for at least six months and in many cases a year (or even longer if your BAC was 0.20 or higher, you relapsed, or have three or more drunk driving convictions). That means no drinking. Period.

That’s right—no afternoon cocktails, evening nightcaps, or even a glass of wine at Cousin Bill’s wedding. Any of those incidents will immediately get you disqualified and you’ll have to wait another year to re-apply. You will also have to show that you are at minimum a low risk of being a repeat offender, and that you have the ability and motivation to obey the law.

In your petition is a section for an alcohol assessment which needs to be completed by a professional. It is important that the outcome of this assessment is good and at a minimum shows you are a low risk for alcohol or substance use or abuse. Ideally, the results should be that you are no risk and that your sobriety should continue.

As evidence, you will need quality letters of reference and recommendation. While the DAAD requests three, I always tell clients to have five. Make sure they are people who can attest to your character and your abstention from alcohol. Letters from clergy, AA sponsors are always good ones to have. You will also need letters and proof that you have completed and are still attending treatment programs, 12-step programs, AA meetings, Sobriety Court, etc. Without these you will not get your license back. You can also have character witnesses to testify on your behalf at the hearing. Also, very important: make sure you have paid your driver responsibility fees!

If successful. the DAAD will authorize a restricted license and require you to use an ignition interlock device. After another year, you can petition again for full driving privileges. If you are denied, you can always appeal to the circuit court, but don’t get your hopes up. Appeals to the circuit court are often costly and rarely render a positive result. Your best bet is to prevail at the DAAD hearing.

Do you need a lawyer to handle your appeal? It isn’t required, but I would never advise anyone to go it alone. The process is very tedious and complicated and for those unfamiliar with the process and what the board is really looking for, it is overwhelming. Also, if your appeal for re-instatement is denied, you have to wait a full year before re-applying! The risks are too high and your diving privileges are too important. Plus, an experienced attorney can tell you exactly what the DAAD is looking for and what will definitely get you disqualified. Experienced attorneys can also tell you what you’ll need and what you won’t need as well as preparing your witnesses for the hearing officer’s questioning. Statistics show that your chances of prevailing are much better when you have a lawyer. Your diving privileges are too important. It’s worth the investment to get your license back.


If your license has been suspended due to OWI drunk driving offenses, call Austin Legal Services today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan driver’s license restoration attorney. Let us help you get back on the road.

Representing driver’s license appeals and restoration Clients throughout Michigan in the counties of: Ingham, Eaton, Jackson, Livingston, Shiawassee, Kent, Clinton, Barry, and Gratiot and in the cities of: Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Bath, Ithaca, Jackson, Brighton, Howell, Corunna, Grand Rapids.