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Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level III - Dependent In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of K.T.

Our client came to us after being denied the privilege to have her driver's license at three prior formal hearings at the Secretary of State. She had used different attorneys prior to coming to us, which lead to the continued denial of her driving privileges and continued driver's license revocation. After meeting with this client in my office, we prepared her testimony and went to a hearing. The hearing elicited that our client had four previous DUI arrests over a fifteen-year period, three of which resulted in DUI convictions, one of which was dismissed in court. Subsequent to the DUI arrests, our client also had no less than five driving while suspended/revoked charges, which are all Class A misdemeanors.

At the hearing, our client admitted to being a chemically dependent person. She testified to having the following symptoms of dependence: black outs, passing out, loss of control of drinking, binge drinking, withdrawal when she stopped drinking, hangovers, drinking more than she intended, and increased tolerance. In addition, her family and friends had complained repeatedly of her excessive use of alcohol. At the hearing, our client admitted being a chemically dependent person, and the treatment provider that we referred her to, taught her some important lessons on how to make significant changes to her lifestyle by practicing yoga, coaching athletics, and working on a graduate degree. The evaluator and treatment provider also identified her triggers, which could potentially relapse her into drinking of stress and confrontation.

When we petitioned the Secretary of State for the reinstatement of her privileges, our client had been sober and active in AA meetings for well over one year. At that hearing and through our help, our client proved an ongoing and adequate support system through her involvement with AA to the Secretary of State. She also demonstrated sufficient working knowledge of and commitment to her support system and, again, we provided sufficient evidence attesting to her current involvement in that support system so that the Secretary of State would find that she was no longer a risk to the community and a danger to the public safety.

Due to the fact that our client testified so thoroughly and honestly relative to her treatment and past background, the Secretary of State found that we carried the burden of proving that she has satisfactorily addressed her chemical dependency and that she would be a safe and responsible driver if granted driving relief. The petitioner was granted a restricted driving permit for one year and after satisfactorily completing the term of the restricted driving permit, was granted full driver's license reinstatement through the Secretary of State and her license to drive is clear with no restrictions.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of R.O.

Our client came to us in an effort to get his Illinois driver's license reinstated after having been revoked for several years. This client had three DUI arrests over a 28-year period, all of which resulted in convictions in the state of Illinois. In addition to that, our client had been charged at least once with driving while suspended, and revoked charges subsequent to his driver's license revocation. Further, because this client had received two DUI's in the past ten years, he was BAIID mandatory, which means that he had to have to have the breath alcohol ignition interlock device installed in his car for a period of one year prior to being fully reinstated.

At the hearing, our client testified that he had two symptoms of alcohol abuse/dependence, which were hangovers and increased tolerance. Further, our client admitted that he was a problem drinker and that he abused alcohol whenever he drank to intoxication. Our client also acknowledged his past alcohol abuse and indicated to the Secretary of State that he did have problems with alcohol independent of his DUI arrests, which was evidenced by his driving under the influence on occasions other than his three DUI arrests. He indicated to the Secretary of State that he let his family down.

When our client came to see us, he had done no treatment whatsoever and we sent him to an independent treatment provider, where he completed his treatment and was reevaluated. At that treatment provider, our client learned why he had a drinking problem and through that he gained an understanding of the abuse and dependency symptoms, the need for setting limits when drinking and how alcohol impaired his judgement and his physical abilities. After learning this, he made significant changes to his lifestyle by joining a real estate investment club, exercising regularly, taking his dogs to the park, golfing and reading and spending more time with his family. Our client also stopped drinking and had not consumed any alcohol for more than two years by the time his hearing began.

The Secretary of State found that for the above reasons, our petitioner had carried his burden of proving that he had satisfactorily addressed his alcohol problem and that he would be a safe and responsible driver. Therefore, the Secretary of State recommended that our client be granted driving relief and he was put on a restricted driving permit as a probationary device in lieu of the reinstatement of his driving privileges. Our client will also be eligible for full reinstatement after the mandatory time period of the restricted driving permit under the BAIID device is completed.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of C.S.

Our next client came from out of state and did not reside in the State of Illinois for almost the past five years. He lived in the state of Michigan and was intending to move down to the state of Florida. He did not intend to ever live in Illinois again, but due to the fact of the problem driver pointer system, an interstate reporting computer network, our client was not able to obtain a driver's license in either the state of Florida or in Michigan due to the fact that his Illinois license needed to be cleared prior to those states issuing him a new driver's license.

Our client had three DUI arrests over a 12-year period. Two of those DUI's occurred in the state of Illinois, one of those in the state of Michigan. The two DUI's in Illinois resulted in DUI convictions and the third DUI that was in the state of Michigan was dismissed. Because only one of his DUI's was in the past 10 years, our client was not BAIID mandatory and therefore was eligible for the Secretary of State for complete clearance of his driver's license.

Our client came in after doing treatments through a provider that we deal with at the Level II - Significant Risk classification. Our client indicated that he had been abstinent since shortly after his last DUI, which was several years prior to the hearing. He testified at the hearing that he had experienced the following indicators of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) symptoms of alcohol/drug abuse/dependence: Hangovers and increased tolerance. Our client also admitted that he was a problem drinker/user. After completing 20 hours of outpatient treatment with the treatment provider that we referred him to, he was able to go over and testify to the Secretary of State regarding his treatment experience. At the hearing our petitioner testified that he learned he was abusing alcohol and his drinking problem was due to his peer group and stress. He made significant changes to his lifestyle by choosing to abstain from alcohol, changing his socializing habits in that he no longer associated with certain individuals and he no longer went to bars and he spent more time on his career. We also attempted to secure a copy of his driving record in the other states where he had previously held driving privileges, namely the state of Michigan.

After the hearing, the Secretary of State found that for the foregoing reasons, our client had carried his burden of proving that he has satisfactorily resolved his alcohol problem and that he would be a safe and responsible driving if granted driving relief, therefore, the Secretary of State found that our client was an acceptable candidate for the reinstatement of full driving privileges. Our client thus obtained complete clearance in the state of Illinois so that he could then live out of state and get a new driver's license.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of A.S.

Our client came to us after receiving two DUI's and being convicted on both within a six-month period. After his second DUI arrest, our client's license was revoked and subsequent to his license being revoked, he picked up and was arrested on three different occasions for driving while revoked. When our client first came to us, we instructed him to obtain treatment on the DUI's and referred him to our participating provider. Also, due to the fact that both of his DUI's occurred within a ten year period, he required to participate in the BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) program because he had two or more DUI convictions within ten years.

After completing the treatment and evaluation through the treatment provider that we referred him to, the hearing officer found that the evidence supported that our client was a significant risk classification and our client testified to the following: That he had maintained abstinence since shortly after his second DUI and that his resolve to remain abstinent appeared to be sincere, that he had also testified to the following symptoms of alcohol abuse and dependence in that he had hangovers and increased tolerance. Our client further indicated and admitted to the Secretary of State that when he did drink he was a problem drinker/user. After completing 20 hours of outpatient treatment, as well as after-care through the treatment provider, our client learned and testified to the Secretary of State that his drinking problem was due to having abused alcohol because of peer pressure. He learned the following regarding his alcohol problem: He learned about alcoholism, how alcoholism can destroy lives, that he, in fact, abused alcohol and he learned what the cause of his abuse of alcohol was and what lifestyle changes he needed to make to avoid this alcohol abuse. He also testified and gave proof to the Secretary of State that he made significant changes to his lifestyle by no longer going to bars, by working out at the gymnasium several times a week, taking English courses and a computer class, reading the paper, walking and going to the park.

After testifying as to his employment, the Secretary of State indicated that our client carried his burden of proving that he has satisfactorily addressed his alcohol problem and that he would be a safe and responsible driver if the Secretary of State granted him driving relief. The Secretary of State therefore recommended that our client, in fact, be granted driving relief and granted him a restricted driving permit so that he could drive to and from work, as well as pursue his business in self-employment as a carpenter.

Secretary of State Informal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of A.M.

Our client came to us after receiving two DUI's over the course of two and one-half years, the first DUI registering a BAC of 0.15 and the second one registering a 0.17. Our office also represented him on a driving while revoked charge in Cook County, Illinois. On the criminal case, our client served zero days in jail and got Court supervision on his driving while revoked case, which allowed him to go to an informal hearing through the Secretary of State. At the time, our client testified as to his drinking pattern prior to the arrests, as well as his lack of use since the last arrest on his DUI. Our client indicated that he had symptoms of hangovers and increased tolerance, but no alcohol-related blackouts, no loss of control, no binge use, no withdrawal symptoms when he stopped drinking and no significant other concerns or complaints relative to his drinking. He also had no history of drug abuse at all.

After proceeding to the hearing, our client testified of the treatment that he attended and indicated to the Secretary of State that he no longer associated with his old drinking friends and that he has stopped going to bars. He made that decision by choice. He was not dependent on alcohol at all and he realized that his relationship with alcohol was negative. In addition, the second arrest almost cost him his job, and he knew that he was abusing alcohol.

After the hearing, the Secretary of State found that out client would be a safe and responsible driver in the state of Illinois due to the fact that he is abstaining alcohol and the fact that he had complied with his treatment and given a very favorable prognosis. The Secretary of State reinstated his license after an informal hearing.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of D.D.

Our client came to us after receiving two DUI's in a span of eight years, as well as an illegal transportation of alcohol charge several years prior to his first DUI. He was BAIID mandatory due to the fact that both of his DUI's were within a ten-year span, which meant that he had to petition the Court for a restricted driving permit prior to being fully reinstated on his driver's license. The client was 37 years old at the time and needed to drive to work to provide for his family. Our client had not had any driving while suspended charges on his record.

Our client admitted that he was problem drinker to the Secretary of State as he was a significant risk. We had referred him to a treatment provider several months prior to going to the hearing so that he could be evaluated and account for his problem drinking, as well as the abuse of alcohol that occurred in between the DUI's. Our client also testified to the Secretary of State that he had the following symptoms of alcohol abuse/dependence in accord with the DSM-IV: Increased tolerance, hangovers and stress-relief use. However, our client had no alcohol-related blackouts, no loss of control or an inability to stop drinking, no withdrawal symptoms when he did stop drinking and no binge use of alcohol. Further, there were no significant other concerns or complaints relative to his use.

After finding that our client had performed all the necessary evaluation, treatment and after-care and finding the fact that he was credible on his use of alcohol or lack thereof, the Secretary of State granted our client a restricted driving permit on the BAIID device of which he performed that span successfully.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of S.C.

Our next client came to us after receiving two DUI's over the span of eight years; the first DUI registered a blood alcohol level of 0.15, the second DUI registering a blood alcohol level of 0.12. Again, due to the fact that our client had received two DUI's in ten years, he was required by the Secretary of State to participate in the BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) program. Our client upon our advice attended and completed an alcohol remedial education course, or DUI risk education course, as well as submitted to an alcohol evaluation through a provider that we referred him to.

Based upon that, when our client went to the hearing, he testified as to the amount of alcohol that he drank on his first DUI, as well as the amount of alcohol that he consumed on the second DUI. The amount that he testified to was consistent with the blood alcohol level reported on both. Our client also testified as to his drinking pattern in the twelve months prior to both DUI's, as well as the amount of alcohol that he consumed in between the DUI's and he indicated that his current alcohol consumption consisted of one to two beers one time every six months or less frequently. Our client testified that he experienced hangovers and increased tolerance and that he was a problem drinker when he drank alcohol between his DUI's, but that his problem has been resolved. It was important to note that he was not dependent on alcohol, nor had he ever lost control of his drinking.

After completing 20 hours of outpatient treatment, as was recommended for his classification under the significant risk, we petitioned the Secretary of State for a hearing and our client testified that he learned that he was abusing alcohol and that his drinking problem was due to his social environment. He made significant changes to his lifestyle by no longer frequenting bars, he changed his circle of friends, he learned photography and he learned how to set limits on his alcohol consumption. He also testified where he was employed and that he lived several miles from his place of employment.

After the Secretary of State found that our client's testimony was credible and the fact that he had performed all of the classes and treatment that were required and that his prognosis was favorable, the Secretary of State granted a restricted driving permit for our client due to the fact that he carried his burden of proving that he had addressed his alcohol problem and that he would be a safe and responsible driver if granted relief. The restricted driving permit for our client was granted and he looks forward to obtaining a full reinstatement of his driver's license soon.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of M.D.

Our client initially came to us after she had been arrested for DUI in the state of Illinois on three different occasions over a span of 24 years. The Secretary of State checked the Problem Driver Pointer System to see if she had any DUI arrests outside the state of Illinois and the PDPS report came back clean. When our client first came to us, we recommended that she attend and complete a DUI education course and treatment at the Level II Significant Risk classification through a treatment provider that we referred her to. After completing that, we prepared our client and went to a hearing with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State found that our client had experienced increased tolerance and hangovers as symptoms of abuse and dependence in her drinking. Our client also testified that she was a problem drinker when she was abusing alcohol.

After the treatment, our client did not completely stop drinking, but testified to the Secretary of State that she changed her pattern to a non-problematic use of one to two beers, one to two times per month. Our client also testified that she intended to maintain her non-problematic pattern of use indefinitely, and the Secretary of State found that her resolved appeared to be sincere. This was corroborated by the fact that the treatment provider indicated to the Secretary of State that our client appears to have met all her treatment goals and objectives and that there were no new recommendations for intervention.

Our client also testified that her drinking problem previously was due to peer pressure and stress. After the classes and treatment, she learned positive ways to deal with that stress and that she needed to make lifestyle changes. She changed her lifestyle in that she now exercises, she changed her friends and she spends more time with her family and enjoys walking her dog. Our client also testified to the Secretary of State that she did take some prescription medication and after submitting a medical report, indicating that the doctor would allow her to drink alcohol occasionally and that this prescription medication would not prevent or hinder her driving at all, the Secretary of State found that our client had carried her burden of proving that she had resolved her alcohol problem and that she would be a safe and responsible driver if granted relief. Our client was granted a restricted driving permit and after the restricted driving permit when she was required by the Secretary of State of Illinois to drive on a restricted basis with a BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) on her car, our client successfully completed the BAIID restricted driving permit and we proceeded to a formal administrative hearing wherein our client was granted full driver's license reinstatement in the state of Illinois.

Formal Administrative Hearing Level II - Significant Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of S.M.

Our client came to us after he had received two DUI's over the course of a 16-year span. The first DUI registered a 0.19 blood alcohol level and the second DUI registered a 0.19 blood alcohol level. In addition to that, and of great importance, was our client had been arrested at least ten times after his DUI's for driving during a period when his driving privileges were revoked or suspended in the state of Illinois. Both DUI's occurred inside the state of Illinois. We recommended that our client attend and successfully complete a DUI education course and treatment appropriate for his Level II Significant classification and he was referred to a treatment provider who analyzed him and did agree with the Level II Significant classification.

Our client had to testify at the Hearing as to how much alcohol he drank in the twelve months prior to both of his DUI's, as well as what his drinking pattern was in between his two DUI's. Our client admitted that during that span he was a problem drinker and user of alcohol and that he had hangovers and increased tolerance as part of his abuse and dependent symptoms. The Secretary of State found his testimony credible after the treatment provider found that our client had a favorable prognosis.

Our petitioner testified that his drinking problem was due to having abused alcohol because of peer pressure and an irresponsible attitude toward alcohol. He learned that he abused alcohol, the physical and emotional problems caused by alcohol abuse and what causes abuse of alcohol. He made significant changes to his lifestyle by spending more time with his family, going to his children's sporting events and coaching and helping friends to do home projects. After all of this testimony and indicating that he no longer drinks alcohol at all, but is not dependent on alcohol, the Secretary of State found that our client had carried his burden of proving that he had resolved his alcohol problem and that he would be a safe and responsible driver if granted driving relief. Therefore, the Secretary of State granted him a restricted driving permit for one year with a mandatory BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) on his car. After successfully completing the restricted driving permit, our client was then granted full reinstatement of his driving privileges and his license in Illinois is now clear.

Secretary of State Formal Administrative Hearing Level III - Dependent Risk In the Matter of the Revocation of the Driver's License and Driving Privileges of B.L.

Our client came to us after receiving three DUI's over the span of more than a decade and having major problems with his driver's license as it was revoked in the state of Illinois. Despite the fact that our client was classified as a Level III Dependent Risk, he had also gone to formal administrative hearings with other attorneys who failed to obtain clearance or a restricted permit for our client. We worked for several months. Another interesting factor with this client was that he did not believe in AA and wanted to go to an alternative route of completing his dependent treatment. He did complete the dependent treatment and after taking several months to go through the process of how his alternative support/recovery program worked, we were able to proceed to the Hearing.

Our client testified credibly as to his treatment and to the fact that he had not consumed alcohol, that his medications were under control and would not affect his driving and also indicated that he taught several classes and met several times weekly in his group sessions and on line, as well as in small sessions at his behavioral group therapy location. The Secretary of State found that our client had successfully controlled his drinking due to the fact that he is abstaining and found that the proof of his treatment and favorable prognosis from his treatment provider was credible. I think the Secretary of State found important the fact that he was so actively involved with his alternative support recovery program and found it easy to believe his testimony when our client provided written proof, several times over, from several people indicating to his abstinence over the past several years. After that, the Secretary of State found that our client did carry his burden of proving that he would be a safe and responsible driver and that his problem with drinking had been resolved and therefore granted him a restricted driving permit with a BAIID (breath alcohol ignition interlock device) in the state of Illinois.

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