A conviction for being a minor in possession of alcohol will result in an automatic 90-day license suspension under the Massachusetts Minor in Possession law, G.L. c. 138 § 34C. The law states that “A conviction of a violation of this section shall be reported forthwith to the registrar of motor vehicles by the court, and said registrar shall thereupon suspend for a period of ninety days the license of such person to operate a motor vehicle.” There is no ability to get a hardship license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. However, in some cases, it may be possible to get hardship relief by going to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.
Because of the automatic loss of license triggered by a minor in possession conviction, it is advisable to try to get the case resolved with an admission to sufficient facts followed by a continuance without a finding. Unlike a conviction or guilty plea, a CWOF will not trigger the automatic 90-day license suspension. Similarly, a conviction of being a minor and attempting to purchase alcohol, misrepresenting your age, or defacing or falsifying a license or identification card, with the intent to purchase alcohol, will trigger a 180-day driver’s license suspension pursuant to G.L. c. 138 § 34A.
The Massachusetts alcohol law further provides that anyone who transfers, alters or defaces any Mass. RMV Liquor ID card or driver’s license, or who makes, uses, carries, sells or distributes a false identification card or license, or uses the identification card or motor vehicle license of another, or furnishes false information in obtaining a Registry ID card or license, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The law states further that the Mass. RMV may, suspend the license or right to operate and the certificate of registrations of any person for up to 6 months, whenever the Registry, after a license suspension hearing, has reason to believe that said person has violated the law listed above. It is noteworthy that a conviction is not required in these situations and all that is required is a “reason to believe” that there was a violation of the Mass. False ID Law, G.L. c. 138 § 34B.
If you have been called in for a Registry hearing due to Minor in Possession or False ID allegations, you are entitled to be represented by a lawyer. Call for a free, no-obligation case review & confidential consultation.