How Being Involved in AA can Help win a Michigan Driver's License Restoration Case – Part 2

In part 1 of this article, we began an examination of how active involvement in AA can help a person win a Driver's License Appeal.In this 2nd part, we'll pick up with some more examples of why this is the case. Within the body of my various License Restoration articles, I have written a lot about how I prepare my Client for a Driver's License Restoration Appeal. All of that preparation is put under the spotlight on the day of their actual License Hearing. During the Hearing, I have a number of jobs to do simultaneously. Amongst them is paying attention to my Client's answers to the Hearing Officer's questions. This helps me determine, what, if any questions I ask my Client when I subsequently re-examine them. In the larger picture, this helps me control the impression that is ultimately made at the Hearing. A few years ago, I was sitting in a Hearing with a Client who was an active AA participant. This man credited the program with not only bringing him to sobriety, but also saving his life. During the course of the Hearing, he was asked by the Hearing Officer to talk about a step or steps, other than the 1st, that were particularly important to him, and to explain why. I felt a surge of satisfaction run through me, as I knew this guy could step up and hit this one out of the park. Imagine how that feeling of confidence drained out of me, only to be replaced by a cold panic, as I heard him begin an answer that went something like this: "A lot of people talk about AA as being a 12 step program, but the truth is that it's more like one big jewel, which is really the 1st step, with 11 facets to it." At this point, I was wishing I could kick him under the table, but in the Hearing Room, there's no way to do that without being seen. I struggled to keep a straight face, all the while feeling like our Appeal was dropping like a rock. My Client continued: "If you took a guy to just 1 meeting in his life, and he heard the 1st step, and never even knew there were 11 more, and if you really explained that 1st step to him, he might just get it, and get the idea that he can't ever drink again. On the other hand, if you exposed him to steps 2 through 12, no matter how many times he heard it, it wouldn't help him quit drinking. Those steps improve a person's sobriety, but only the 1st step can actually give it." I felt somewhat relieved that the Client had explained himself this way. Just moments before, I thought we were about to crash and burn. As I looked up, I felt even more relief as I saw the Hearing Officer smile and nod. The end result was that the guy won his Appeal.

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