If you are convicted of DUI in another state and you are a Massachusetts resident or the holder of a Massachusetts Driver’s License, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will penalize you as if the DUI occurred in Massachusetts, even if the case is resolved through an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program.
Some states, such as Pennsylvania, have alternative disposition programs where a DUI defendant can avoid a conviction. These might seem like attractive options, so as to avoid a criminal record. Pennsylvania has an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program. This is only available to first offenders. A substance abuse evaluation is required as a prerequisite.
The Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program is a pre-trial diversion program that will result in a dismissal of the Driving Under the Influence charges. The PA ARD Program includes an assignment to an alcohol education program. There is no way to get an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition without completion of the 12 ½ hour DUI class.
For Massachusetts license holders who are arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania, the ARD Program is not the “get out of jail free card” that some people think it is. The Massachusetts RMV will treat a DUI resolved through the PA Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program as a conviction. This means that the Registry will suspend your license and the DUI resolved through the PA ARD Program will generate a 5-point major violation insurance surcharge. It will count towards the Ignition Interlock Device requirement, and it will count as prior offense if you are convicted of DUI in the future.
Under Pennsylvania law, is possible to have court records related to a DUI resolved through the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program expunged so that there is no trace or indication that the records ever existed. However, expungement of a PA DUI will not result in the removal of the conviction from your MA Driving Record. Under Massachusetts law, a DUI conviction or alcohol program assignment cannot be expunged and the expungement of a PA DUI will not result in its removal from your Massachusetts Driving Record.