Out of State DUI Suspensions for Mass. Residents
If you are a resident of Massachusetts or if you are the holder of a driver's license issued by the Mass. Registrar of Motor Vehicles and have the misfortune of getting convicted of an out of state drunk driving charge, you will have to satisfy the motor vehicle department in the state where the DUI arrest occurred as well as the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. In some cases, those convicted of DUI retain a lawyer in the state where the offense occurred as well as a Massachusetts attorney to deal with the Mass. RMV.
When someone has a DUI related license suspension due to failing a breath test, refusing to submit to a breath test or being convicted of operating under the influence, the Registry or DMV in the state where the OUI offense occurred will suspend the driver's license of a resident of that state or the right to operate of a non-resident. When a non-resident's right to drive is suspended or revoked, the DMV will enter the suspension or revocation into the Problem Driver Pointer System of the National Driver Register. The state where the offense occurred may also directly notify the DMV in the driver's home state.
Whenever the Registrar in Massachusetts receives notification that a Mass. driver has had his or her right to operate suspended in any other state, country, or jurisdiction, the Registrar is required to indefinitely revoke that persons right to drive here in Massachusetts. The Registry cannot reinstate the driver's Massachusetts license until the state where the offense occurred has restored the driver's right to operate in that state.
However, restoration of your right to drive in the state where the DUI occurred does not mean that the Registry will automatically reinstate your license here. Where a DUI, breathalyzer refusal, or breath test failure is involved, the RMV will clear the NDR indefinite revocation only when you provide "proof of findings" regarding the out of state violation. Specifically, the Registry will require you to supply a certified copy of your driver history in the state where the offense occurred or a certified copy of the DUI court paperwork showing the incident date, offense description, outcome of the charges, and disposition or court finding date. When you provide this required information to the Registry, a hearings officer will add the DUI conviction to your case.
Once the out of state DUI is added to your record, the hearings officer will clear the out of state indefinite NDR revocation, upon the payment of the required reinstatement fee. Then, overnight, when the Registry's computer processes the out of state DUI, you may receive an additional license suspension or revocation. Specifically, a first offense will generate a 1 year loss of license which can sometimes be reduced. A 2nd offense DUI will trigger a 2 year suspension, a 3rd DUI will generate an 8 year revocation, and a 4th DUI will result in a 10 year loss of license. Anyone with 2 or more DUI convictions will be ignition interlock required, no matter how old the prior offenses are. Anyone who has 5 or more drunk driving convictions on his or her record, will have his or her license permanently revoked for life, with no possibility to be considered for any type of work, hardship, limited, restricted, or Cinderella license of any type.
A Massachusetts lawyer who specializes in RMV cases such as Attorney Brian E. Simoneau may be able to help you get a hardship license or get your DUI suspension reduced, depending on the facts of your specific case. Complete the contact form on this site for more information.
If you are an out of state DUI lawyer and you need any information regarding how the Massachusetts RMV treats out of state DUI convictions, please contact Attorney Simoneau. He has established himself as a resource for out of state attorneys who need information or assistance regarding Massachusetts license suspensions and the collateral consequences of out of state drunk driving convictions and plea bargains.