Have you ever been incarcerated?
If yes, why were you incarcerated?
How long were you incarcerated?
Provide the city and court that ordered your incarceration.
These preliminary questions explore your criminal past. You may take this opportunity to mention, parenthetically, what impact incarceration has had on your decision to maintain sobriety. The DLAD hearing officer may be attempting to determine if there are other alcohol-related convictions on your record that do not directly relate to drunk driving. People that have abused alcohol on a consistent basis have affected other aspects of their lives unrelated to driving. A period of incarceration may mean that there have been offenses in your past that that have seriously interfered with your ability to become a productive member of society. Please keep in mind, however, that everyone is entitled to a second chance. Hence, while the hearing officer may probe your criminal past, it is important to mention any and all special circumstances that caused you to be incarcerated, and to take full responsibility for the bad decisions you have made.
Being incarcerated for any reason is a very real example of how bad choices have consequences; you are already very aware of this reality if your license has been revoked or suspended. “Cleaning your closet” goes a long way in squaring up to the past and convincing the hearing officer that your old ways are just that – they are an antiquated example of who you were, and who you endeavor to never again become. This form of reconciliation to yourself and the hearing officer may bring you closer to convincing the secretary of state that you will be a safe and alcohol-free driver in the future, if given the opportunity.