First Offender OUI Program & Hardship Licensing

First Offender OUI Program & Hardship Licensing

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has a First Offender program for drivers who have not been previously convicted of OUI (Operating Under the Influence), which is also known was DWI or DUI. Also, you may qualify for “second chance” first offender program if your OUI conviction or alcohol education program assignment was over 10 years from the most recent incident.

Due to the enactment of Melanie’s Law, if a person’s blood alcohol content is at or above .20 the OUI offender must undergo a special assessment by an alcohol program approved by the Mass DPH. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the defendant’s level of addiction and a course of treatment. The agency conducting the assessment must send the results of the assessment to the offender’s supervising probation officer. These assessments are mandatory pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24Q.

Mass. DUI first offender dispositions generally result in placement on supervised probation for one year, a continuance without a finding, which is also known as a CWOF, a $60 fee plus $5 surcharge per month probation fee, a $50.00 victim witness assessment, a $250 24D fee, a $250 head injury assessment, court costs, a fine and a surfine. DUI first offenders are also required to pay for the 16 week DUI alcohol class. The Driver Alcohol Education 24D Program is $567.30 and the initial assessment fee $185.30, is deductible from that total sum. The program consists of 16 weekly sessions, each 90 minutes for total of 24 hours. At least 2 mandatory AA meetings are required.


Under the OUI First Offender Program, which is also referred to as the 24D program, you must take an approved alcohol education course. If you receive treatment as a first offender, your license suspension can likely be reduced from one (1) year to forty-five (45) days. Also, while your license is suspended, you may be able to get a Hardship License. To get a Massachusetts Hardship License, you must prove that you have a legitimate hardship. Our attorneys can help you with this. You will need to produce certain proof at your hearing and convince the Registry hearing officer not only that you qualify for treatment as First Offender, but also that you have a legitimate hardship. A Massachusetts OUI Lawyer can help you with this.

Those under 21 years of age will have their licenses suspended for 210 days, instead of 45 to 90 days, under the first offense G.L. c. 90 § 24D Alcohol Education Program.

If you are seeking a Hardship License as a First Offender, at your Hardship License Hearing, you must produce written verification of employment as well as written proof, on program letterhead, confirming that you entered or enrolled in the 24D Alcohol Education Program. A hardship license will permits operation during a specifically defined 12-hour period, each day.

To be eligible for a medical, school, or work hardship license, you must demonstrate that walking to work or taking public transportation is not feasible. This should be stated in the employer’s letter. You can also prove that public transportation will not suffice by submitting public transportation schedules and Mapquest or other similar printouts.

Although an applicant may meet all requirements, issuance of a hardship license is only granted at the reasonable discretion of the RMV, based on the facts of the case. This is why it is important to be represented by a skilled Massachusetts OUI Lawyer.

Massachusetts Suspended License Lawyers have helped numerous clients with First Offender issues. Don’t risk being arrested for Operating After Suspension when we may be able to get your license reinstated or get you a Hardship License. Under Melanie’s Law, if you are convicted of driving on a license that has been suspended for OUI, there is a 60 day minimum mandatory jail sentence. Contact us today for a free consultation.

The Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles will not issue a hardship license to those who have out of state OUI convictions unless and until the 24D Alcohol Education Program is completed. According to the RMV, 24D program enrollment is not enough for out of state DUI offenses. However, there is a way around this. Contact Attorney Simoneau for more information.