The Question: In 2017, as a Massachusetts license holder, I got a first offense DUI in Pennsylvania. I lost my license in Pennsylvania for two months and went through the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program and my record was expunged after meeting all requirements of the ARD program. I still have points on my Massachusetts Driver’s License but never received penalties in Massachusetts. I was hoping to find out what would be involved in getting my Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) points back to normal in Mass. So that I can get my car insurance premiums back under control.
The answer: A DUI in Massachusetts is considered a major violation and it results in a 5-point SDIP assessment. That will substantially increase your automobile insurance premiums. Pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 22(c), whenever a Massachusetts resident or license holder gets convicted of DUI in another state, the Registry is required to treat the conviction as if had occurred in Massachusetts for suspension purposes. However, I may be able to get any Massachusetts license suspension period reduced and you may be able to obtain a hardship license by appearing before the Board of Appeal.
Under Title 75 § 3807, the PA ARD Program provides for an alternative disposition for qualified DUI offenders in Pennsylvania.
In your case, the Pennsylvania DUI was added to your Massachusetts driving record and because you were assigned to an Alcohol Education Program (AEP), that alcohol program assignment is considered tantamount to a DUI conviction. Massachusetts has a 24D first offender program which is similar to the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program. Under the 24D program, the DUI case is continued without a finding (CWOF’ed) for a year and then dismissed upon successful completion of probation. However, the dismissal of the DUI does not re-write history.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles already has information from PennDOT indicating that you were assigned to an alcohol program under the Pennsylvania (ARD) Program. The MA Registry is not bound by the Pennsylvania expungement order. G.L. c. 90 § 30 requires the Registry to maintain permanent records of DUI convictions and alcohol program assignments. The PA expungement order is unenforceable in Massachusetts.