Many people who have lost their licenses because of a DUI conviction make the mistake of going to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to get a hardship license with the wrong alcohol program. Some wait for hours, only to have a Registry hearing officer inform them that they cannot be considered for a Mass. hardship or work license, because they do not have the proper alcohol program. The Registry takes a zero tolerance approach to the alcohol program requirements and Registry hearing officers will not waive the requirement. DUI First Offenders and those with a second chance first offender disposition are required to enroll in a 16 week out-patient program, known as the Massachusetts 24D first offender alcohol program. DUI Second offenders must successfully complete a 14 day in-patient alcohol treatment program known as the DUIL program. In addition to the 14 day alcohol program completion certificate, the Mass. RMV requires a discharge summary showing the risk of relapse or recidivism and a letter from the 2nd offender program regarding hardship licensing.
DUI 3rd offenders are required to have completed a ninety (90) day in-patient 3rd offender program. DUI 3rd offenders are also required to provide documentation regarding recidivism and aftercare. All hardship licenses for DUI 3rd offenders must be approved by the Director of the Driver Control Unit of the Mass. RMV.
In some cases, the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal, after a hearing, may authorize the issuance of a hardship license without the required alcohol program. However, the Board of Appeal will only grant hardship relief upon a showing of a legitimate and substantial need to drive along with adequate evidence that the hardship license applicant has brought the causes of his or her past or present alcohol issues under control, such that authorizing a hardship license will not endanger public safety. The Board requires use of the ignition interlock device as a condition of any hardship license issued to a second or subsequent OUI offender. There are absolutely no exceptions to this requirement.
In addition to documentation regarding the proper alcohol program, the Board of Appeal and the Mass. Registry require other items such as work letters, evidence showing the lack of sufficient public transportation, and a letter from the hardship license applicant’s probation officer. The Registry requires that all other active license suspensions or revocations must be completed prior to considering someone for a hardship license.
Legal representation can increase your chances of obtaining a hardship license. Call or e-mail for a free consultation and review of your Massachusetts hardship license case.