The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will automatically impose a 1 year license suspension for any driver under age 18 who refuses a chemical test or has a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater. Drivers who are over 18 but under 21 years of age will have a 180 day license suspension in this situation. This suspension is in addition to a 3 year chemical test refusal suspension which the Registry will impose upon any first offender who is under 21 years of age who refuses a chemical test.
If the driver has not been charged with OUI or any OUI related violation prior to the triggering offense, he or she may petition the Registry of Motor Vehicles to eliminate the 180 day suspension for those over 18 and reduce the 1 year suspension for those under 21 from 1 year to 6 months.
In order to get the Mass. RMV to reduce or eliminate the suspension, the young driver must enter a recognized Massachusetts Youth Alcohol Program which has been accredited by the Mass. Department of Public Health. You can reach the Mass. DPH at 508-984-0623 to find the Youth Alcohol Program which is nearest to you. Upon entry into the Youth Alcohol Program, you will be given confirmation of enrollment which you or your RMV lawyer must provide to the Registry of Motor Vehicles to get your suspension reduced or terminated. If you or your attorney does not deliver proof of entry into the program to the RMV in a timely manner, your license will remain suspended and you will not get “credit for time served.”
If you enter an alcohol education program as part of your criminal court case, it is still your responsibility to provide proof of entry into the § 24D Alcohol Education Program to the Registry. If you do not complete the alcohol program, the Registry will re-suspend your license for the full length of the suspension, either 6 months or 1 year, depending on your age, and you will forfeit the $100.00 reinstatement fee.
No hardship licenses are authorized by law during a Youth Alcohol Program suspension period, unless your operating under the influence case was properly disposed of by the court pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D, and you were legally qualified for a 24D disposition.
Youth Alcohol Program suspensions are separate and distinct from any suspension that the court may order in the future as a result of any charge of operation under the influence that you may be facing, and from any other suspension issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Suspension of this nature are not related to the final outcome of any criminal charges, and if you are found not guilty or the DUI charges are dismissed, the Massachusetts YAP suspension will remain in full effect until entry into the approved alcohol program is provided to the RMV or the suspension period expires and the driver pays the $100.00 reinstatement fee.