One of the most difficult things a person convicted of DUI faces is obtaining full reinstatement of their license with the Secretary of State. A first time conviction for DUI results in a mandatory minimum period of revocation for one full year. A revocation is not a suspension. A suspension merely requires a reinstatement fee payment and your license is typically back to normal.A revocation requires an informal or perhaps a formal hearing at your local SOS hearing office. Things that need to be completed prior to applying for reinstatement are:
- Completion of the required alcohol treatment. A completion certificate is presented by the treatment provider after successful completion. The completion certificate cannot be more than 6 months old at the time of the hearing. If the certificate is older a renewal must be obtained.
- Completion of an alcohol support group (only for significant risk petitioners). AA or NA is the preferred option of SOS. The client must understand each step within the program. The hearing officer will vigorously question the client on these steps. Failure to understand or the ability to relate this information to the officer will result in a denial.
- Affidavits of co-workers, family, and employers are sometimes mandatory. The hearing officer needs to determine why the petitioner needs a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). Usually work is the reason given when requesting a RDP. Medical needs and schooling are also acceptable reasons.
- Complete preparation for all questions that will be asked of the client. This is very important. Only an experienced attorney who has participated in these hearings can effectively prepare the client for the hearing. Experience truly matters.
After being approved for the RDP the client must present SR-22 insurance proof, install a BAIID in their car, and comply with the parameters as stated on the permit. The client's next step is to apply for full reinstatement after a period of driving has been completed. The whole process takes about 4 months for the RDP to be granted and another 6 months for full reinstatement. If the client is caught driving outside the parameters, blows a minimum amount of alcohol into the BAIID, or otherwise violates the permit the entire process must start anew.
Although it sounds very state-oriented (and it is) the process can be accomplished in the client's favor. We have a successful track record with these hearings.