Some OUI 2nd offenders end up at the Board of Appeal of the Massachusetts Division of Insurance because the Registry of Motor Vehicles has denied them hardship relief. This often happens when the 2nd offender has not completed the 14 day in-patient DUIL program in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The Registry requires proof of completion of the Driving Under the Influence of Liquor (“DUIL”) Program for anyone with 2 DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments on their record, regardless of whether the court system treats the person as a first or second offender for criminal sentencing purposes.
If you are a 2nd offender with a first offender program, the only way that you can be considered for a hardship license is to appeal your 2 year OUI 2nd offense license suspension to the Board of Appeal. It is highly recommended that you be represented by a lawyer who routinely practices before the Board. I have successfully obtained hardship licenses in the vast majority of my cases and I have heard from those who made the mistake of representing themselves before the Board and have been denied hardship licenses. The time to call me is before, and not after, your Board of Appeal Hearing. Once the Board has denied you hardship relief, there will be little that I can do to help you.
Another reason for hardship license denial in 2nd offense DUI cases is that the applicant has not completed the required aftercare. You must complete any and all recommended aftercare, which consists of out-patient meetings, prior to being considered for a hardship license at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you are a repeat DUI offender and you have not completed aftercare, the Registry will not grant you a restricted, limited, Cinderella, or hardship license. One reason for this is that when you complete the DUIL program, you will be given a high risk of recidivism. Your only chance to get this risk of recidivism reduced is to complete the aftercare program and get a new alcohol evaluation.
Finally, hardship licensing is discretionary. This means that there is absolutely no right to a hardship license or a guarantee that you will be issued one. Registry hearings officers have discretion and you can be denied to do the lack of sufficient evidence regarding hardship or your general record. Other denial reasons include evidence of operation, the seriousness of the OUI event, evidence of alcohol consumption, and probation violations.
Melanie’s law requires that any second or subsequent DUI offender who is getting a full license or hardship license must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle which the offender owns, leases, or operates during the full term of any restricted license and for 2 years after being issued a full-time license. There are absolutely no exceptions to this legal requirement.