Hardship Licenses for 3rd Offense DUI
If you have been convicted of DUI and you have 2 prior DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments on your RMV record, the Registry will automatically suspend your driver’s license for 8 years. If you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test, you will have a 5-year chemical test refusal (CTR) suspension, which you must serve prior to the start of the 8-year DUI 3rd offense suspension. This means that your license will be suspended for a total of 13 years.
Once the Chemical Test Refusal (CTR) suspension expires, you can be considered for a 12-hour hardship license. You must have a legitimate and documented need to drive for work, school, or medical reasons. Any hardship license issued will have a mandatory Ignition Interlock Device (IID) restriction.
To grant a hardship license on a third offense DUI suspension, the Registry will require completion of a ninety (90) day residential treatment program which is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Unfortunately, there is no such program available, and most third offenders are ordered to complete the DUI 2nd offender 14-day in-patient DUIL Program in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
Even if you have not completed the 90-day 3rd offender residential alcohol treatment program approved by the Massachusetts DPH, you can still be considered for a hardship license. However, you must go before the Board of Appeal. This is a 3-member appellate board that has the legal authority to order the Registry to grant you a hardship license.
The Board will want to see that you qualify for a hardship license and that you have a low risk of recidivism. Board of Appeal hearings are adversarial in nature, and the Registry is represented by a lawyer who will attempt to convince the Board to keep the 8-year DUI 3rd offense license suspension in place and not grant you a hardship license.
If you are serious about getting a hardship license, as a 3rd offender, it definitely makes sense to hire a lawyer to represent you. Most people who go before the Board without a lawyer lose their cases. This is because they’re going up against a Registry lawyer who presents the Registry’s case like a prosecutor.
To win at the Board of Appeal, documentary evidence is required. It is critical to make a strong case regarding your need for a license and to demonstrate that any alcohol issues have been brought under control so that returning you to the roadway will not endanger the public. Part of my strategy includes the submission of a detailed and persuasive legal memorandum that explains, in writing, why my client should be granted a hardship license.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding how to get a hardship license on a 3rd offense DUI. For more than 20 years, I have helped countless clients get back on the road, even with 3rd, 4th, and 5th offense DUI convictions.