The Cape Cod Times reported that the Mashpee Police Department filed an immediate threat complaint against a 23 year old Marstons Mills man as a result of a rear-end motor vehicle accident which occurred this morning. Police file these complaints with the Registry pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 22(a), which triggers the immediate suspension of a driver’s license to protect public safety.
When emergency workers arrived at the accident scene, discovered that the driver’s heart and stopped. Fortunately, firefighters were able to resuscitate him and he was transported by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital. The other driver was also transported to the hospital.
It was reported that responding police officers discovered hypodermic needles and a controlled substance on the floor of the DUI suspect’s car. Police charged him with DUI drugs, reckless driving, and failure to stay within marked lanes. In Massachusetts, the crime of driving under the influence of drugs carries the same penalties and license suspensions as DUI alcohol.
In addition to the criminal charges, the immediate threat indefinite revocation of the driver’s license will make getting a hardship license or full reinstatement difficult. The Registry will require the driver to attend a reinstatement hearing wherein he will have to convince the hearings officer that restoring his right to drive will not endanger the public safety. Since the driver rear-ended another car, he will receive an automatic automobile insurance surcharge. This at fault accident combined other charges will result in a huge increase of his automobile insurance premium, if he is convicted.
A criminal complaint citation was issued and the case will be heard in Barnstable District Court and his immediate threat suspension hearing will be held at the Registry of Motor Vehicles at 630 Washington Street in Boston or in South Yarmouth. Even if the driver is found not guilty of OUI drugs, the Registry may still maintain the immediate threat revocation until a hearings officer is satisfied that the driver is safe to operate. This does not constitute double jeopardy, because these suspensions are designed to protect the public and not to punish Massachusetts drivers.