A lot of people have questions about driver license appeals in Michigan. The Secretary of State provides the public with instructions titled the “Driver License Appeal Practice Manual,” which is about an inch think and can be a bit overwhelming. My hope is that this post will clear up some commonly asked questions.

What is a Habitual Offender?

There is an exception for those who were convicted of alcohol offense prior to October 1, 1999, but those situations are rare now that its more than 10 years later.

Basically, a Habitual Offender is someone who has received a combination of ANY two alcohol offense under the Michigan Vehicle Code within seven years, or three violations in ten years.

A Habitual Offender’s license is revoked for a year, and for a minimum of five years for a subsequent revocation within seven years of a prior revocation.

Do I HAVE to go to Alcoholics Anonymous?

You don’t HAVE to go to AA, but it is HIGHLY RECCOMENDED. Groups like AA are incredibly important and useful to establish part of the burden, which is that the petitioner’s alcohol or substance abuse problems, if any, are under control and likely to remain under control; that the petitioner represents a low or minimal risk of repeating the act of drunk driving or past abusive behavior.

Where is the hearing held?

The hearing is held at a Secretary of State with a Driver assessment and appeal division office. Not all Secretary of State branch offices offer this service. The notice of your hearing will tell you which office your hearing will be held.

The hearing is in front of a hearing officer, not a judge. The rules of evidence are relaxed.

If I lose does that mean I’ll never have a license?

No, in most situations you are eligible for another hearing in one year. You can also appeal to the Circuit Court immediately.

Does every one lose their first hearing?

Absolutely not!

For more about DAAD check out our Michigan Driver License and Appeal Division page.