Massachusetts 24D DUI Dispositions, CWOFs, and Job Applications

dui_cwof_job_applicationWhether or not you need to disclose a § 24D operating under the influence disposition on a job application is an excellent question and, as explained below, the answer to this question is: it depends on whether or not you were actually convicted of OUI and the precise wording of the question in the application for employment.

G.L. c. 90 § 24D allows qualified first offenders and certain 2nd offenders to have their drunk driving cases resolved pursuant to an alternative disposition program. Under this program, in exchange for making an admission to sufficient facts and agreeing to being placed on supervised probation and completing an alcohol education program, certain DUI offenders who qualify for 24D as “first offenders” or “second chance first offenders,” are allowed to have their licenses suspended for only 45 to 90 days instead of 1 year for first offenders and 2 years for 2nd offenders.

Sometimes the Massachusetts 24D program made available as part of the drunk driving sentence after the defendant has been found guilty. When this happens, there is a DUI conviction on the person’s record and if an employment application asks, “have you ever been convicted of a crime?” you must generally answer yes. Even though you were awarded a 24D disposition, because a DUI conviction preceded the 24D sentence, you generally cannot answer no.

On the other hand, if you made an admission to sufficient facts and the operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs charge was continued without a finding and eventually dismissed, you can legitimately answer “no” to a question asking if you have been convicted of drunk driving.  Answering no is permissible because you were not “convicted.” The operating under the influence case was continued without a finding (CWOF) and later dismissed.

Although having your DUI case CWOF’ed and dismissed may allow you to answer “no” on an employment application, the DUI will still permanently appear on your Massachusetts driving record and, because you were assigned to an alcohol program, it can still be used to increase license suspensions in any future DUI cases. Also, a DUI which was continued without a finding and dismissed can be used to when calculating insurance points and surcharges as well as to determine whether a driver is ignition interlock required under Melanie’s Law. However, the Registry cannot count a DUI case which was CWOF’ed and dismissed against you for habitual traffic offender revocation purposes.

Also, if your DUI conviction record was sealed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 276 § 100A-C, you are legally allowed to answer “no record” to any question regarding DUI arrests, convictions, or appearing in court as a criminal defendant. However, the DUI incident will still appear on your driving record. This is because the Massachusetts sealing statute does not apply to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.