Case History: California Drivers Advocates was engaged to represent a client whose driver license had been suspended by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) because they suspected she was addicted to the use of alcohol. After our client had been arrested four times for DUI in the span of three years, the DMV concluded she was addicted to the use of alcohol and that such an addiction posed a threat to the motoring public.
By the time she retained us, our Client had been off the road for three years and had been completely clean and sober for more than two years. She had completed both in-patient and out-patient alcohol treatment programs, was actively working the 12-step program and had basically reinvented herself both professionally and personally. She had twice petitioned the DMV for the return of her driver license and each time, the DMV rejected her pleas.
DMV’s Position: The California DMV’s position is crystal clear in matters of this nature. Addiction to any substance, compound, medication or drug poses a profound threat to the safety of everyone driving on public roadways. Because a person who is addicted to alcohol is likely to feed their addiction before making good choices regarding the operation of a motor vehicle, they cannot be trusted to hold a California Driving Privilege. Consequently, the DMV will remove an alcoholic from the road for an indeterminate period of time; which means until such time as the DMV decides they are ready to restore the driving privilege.
Our Defense: Our defense began with a detailed interview of the Client to determine her complete medical history, which turned out to be quite benign. Other than addictions to alcohol and heroin, she was actually quite healthy. We learned that in addition to several convictions for DUI, she also had previous legal problems related to the possession and use of controlled substances. It is common for a person with one addiction to habitually use other substances in the quest to remain “high.”
After learning our Client’s background and documenting all of the work she had done to turn her life around, we then set her upon the path to collect appropriate and relevant evidence to demonstrate she had the Skill, the Knowledge and the Physical/Mental Fitness to drive. We guided her through the proper collection of that evidence to ensure it was presented in a format acceptable to the DMV. We had our Client fitted with an alcohol detection monitor and had her submit to numerous urine tests to demonstrate that she was remaining free of all intoxicants. We directed our Client to attend an on-line driving school and to study the Drive Handbook. We also collected character letters from people who knew her best and would testify to her commitment to remain sober. The most valuable element of our defense was to prepare our Client for testimony. Because the DMV would handle her matter as an “interview” as opposed to a “hearing” she was subject to the direct examination of the DMV hearing officer. She had to be fully prepared and because she had been mistreated by previous DMV Hearing Officers, she was a bit skittish.
Once we had collected all of our evidence, we contacted the DMV and requested that they re-open her matter for a Reinstatement Interview. Our request was granted and a date was set.
At our Client’s interview, the Hearing Officer accepted each item of evidence we presented and was impressed with our level of preparation. The hearing officer questioned our Client extensively, but because we had prepared her so thoroughly, she testified with great clarity and credibility.
Two weeks later, we received the DMV’s “Order of Set Aside or Reinstatement” which terminated the action against our Client and her ordeal came to an end.
Call CDA Today. Let us put you back on the road.
The lesson here is that most drivers are not prepared to take on the DMV at an Administrative Hearing without professional help. By attempting to reinstatement without representation, our client was repeatedly frustrated when the DMV rejected her attempts. The DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates include former police officers, DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators and Scientists. Our training, our experience and our reputation provide any driver the best opportunity to win their Administrative Hearing or Re-Examination the first time.
If your driver license has been suspended or revoked because you are addicted to the use of alcohol or any other intoxicant; the first step is to get yourself clean and sober. When that battle is secure, then you should call the DMV Defense Experts at California Drivers Advocates. We are experts in the field of getting deserving people back on the road.