License Restoration Questions - Prior Arrests and BAC levels

The hearing officer is likely to ask you about your prior arrests for drunk driving. Looking into the particulars of your arrest can sometimes serve as a gauge for your progress, or lack thereof. The Secretary of State may want to determine if anyone had been injured or killed, or whether there were other persons involved. While these factors weigh in on the seriousness of your prior offenses, it is the seriousness of your sobriety that is at issue. In that regard, it is generally understood that the higher the blood alcohol you had when you were arrested, the higher your tolerance to alcohol. Clearly, the higher your tolerance to alcohol was, the more pronounced your alcohol issues appear. If, in that regard, it appears as though your blood alcohol level demonstrates a more serious problem with alcohol than others, you should make an extraordinary effort to ensure that the remedial measures you have taken to control your addiction is in keeping with how big your problem once was.

Clearly, the bigger the problem the more prepared and structured you must be in shaping solutions to such problems. If the hearing officer learns that your blood alcohol was .20 or higher for any of your arrests, your addiction will be presumed. In this situation, it is critical to address your high tolerance; however, it is more important to continue to stress the factors in your life that have successfully addressed your drinking patterns of the past. It is the author’s opinion that a presumption of addiction could be made by the DLAD when an individual possesses a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher. When such a B.A.C. is present, be prepared to discuss your arrests and reiterate the hard work and progress you have made to ensure your continued long-term sobriety.

You may be able to minimize the effect of you high blood alcohol level by mentioning the length of time that has elapsed since your arrest. Specifically, the older your offense, the better able you can demonstrate how the past several months have addressed your drinking habits. In highlighting your efforts, you will also show the hearing officer that while you blood alcohol level reveals a previously high tolerance to alcohol, you now possess a frame of mind that has zero tolerance for poor choices – including the choice to consume alcohol.

As a side note, you may be asked to provide the rough dates of your prior drunk driving offenses. This question may be attempting to reveal whether or not you have prior offenses unaware to the hearing officer. The officer has a copy of your master driving record, and may even have access to your criminal record, in general. If you reveal a date for a prior offense that is significantly different from the date known to the hearing officer, you may be revealing an offense that was previously unknown and undisclosed. Granted, it is highly unlikely that you will reveal any information not known by the hearing officer, but it is possible. If you are confronted with this question (or any other question for that matter), provide an honest response to the best of your recollection. It is less important that you provide the correct dates and significantly more important that you show the hearing officer your determination to answer each inquiry honestly and thoroughly. If you are eligible for a review, than your sub-standard driving record should take a back seat to your current efforts to maintain sobriety and the progress you have made in furthering your goals in life.