Breathalyzer Refusal License Restoration Hearings in District Court

A not guilty verdict in a DUI case does not result in the automatic reinstatement of a DUI Defendant’s license where it was suspended because of a chemical test refusal. However, after receiving a not guilty finding on an operating under the influence of liquor charge, the court does have the authority to determine whether to restore the defendant’s driver’s license in such circumstances.

Your DUI lawyer can file a motion pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 24(1)(f)(1) to request reinstatement of your license, on the grounds that the drunk driving and any other alcohol related charges have been resolved by a not guilty finding or dismissal.  This license reinstatement hearing is different from and in addition to any hearing conducted pursuant to G. L. c. 90, § 24 (1) (g). Those initial breathalyzer refsual hearings are held, in the first instance, before the Registry to appeal the suspension of your license, which must be filed with the Registry in Boston within 15 days of the suspension.  

In order to prevent reinstatement, after a not guilty or dismissal of the DUI charges, the District Attorney’s Office must rebut the presumption that the license should be restored. To rebut the license reinstatement presumption, the prosecuting DUI lawyer must establish that it is more likely than not that the restoration of the defendant’s driver’s license would likely endanger the public safety.

If the motion is successful, your Class D License can be fully restored, upon presentation of the court’s order to the Driver Control Unit of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and payment of a $500.00 license reinstatement fee.  The court order confers no driving privileges, it must be brought to the Registry to commence the license restoration process. However, the Registry will only reinstate a Class D (passenger car) license. It will not reinstate a Commercial Driver’s License, even with a court order. This is because it is the Registry’s position is that the Massachusetts law which governs CDL suspensions and reinstatements prevents the restoration of a CDL.

Even though the Registry refuses to reinstate a CDL, getting your commercial driver’s license may be possible by going before the Board of Appeal of the Division of Insurance. I have successfully reinstated truck drivers who were facing lifetime CDL license revocations.