Young Drivers in Masschusetts Face Harsh License Suspensions

Young drivers in Massachusetts must exercise extreme caution both behind the wheel and in situations involving alcohol. In my law practice, I have seen firsthand the harsh penalties and consequences associated with violations of the JOL law and other Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Laws. A single speeding ticket on a JOL will trigger an automatic 90 day suspension. Two tickets on a JOL will result in a 1 year license suspension. In both cases, the JOL license holder will have to take 2 driving classes, pay a mandatory $500.00 reinstatement fee, and take the written and road tests all over again. JOL passenger and hour restrictions will also result in automatic license suspensions.

Drivers under 21 years of age who refuse the breathalyzer will automatically lose their licenses for at least 3 years. Those who are convicted of DUI or fail the breathalyzer will also incur enhanced license suspensions. Today, I just spoke with the parent of a teenager who was riding in a car where the driver had an open container of alcohol. The police cited the driver for “open container,” a $500.00 civil infraction. He paid the citation and got an unpleasant surprise, a license suspension. Being a minor in possession of alcohol will also result in a license suspension. Likewise, using a false ID will trigger a 6 moth license loss.

Every new driver in Massachusetts should proceed with extreme caution. Minor mistakes can have major consequences. Many habitual traffic offenders who I represent stared off as young drivers with minor infractions which snowballed and eventually resulted in harsh 4 year license revocations. New drivers in Massachusetts cannot be too cautious when it comes to obeying the rules of the road and staying away from alcohol. In my law practice, I have seen firsthand the effects of immaturity and carelessness. In most cases, the driver’s family suffers, as family members must now transport the suspended driver to school, work, and other obligations.

The RMV Board of Appeal affords hardship and other relief in select cases involving young drivers. However, it is often difficult for young people to receive favorable consideration. The Board takes the position that new drivers should be taught early on that dangerous driving and other violations of law have consequences. It is thought that, by imposing license suspensions early on, future acts of bad driving will be prevented and public safety will be enhanced.