Massachusetts Administrative Per Se License Suspensions

If you were arrested for operating under the influence of liquor in Massachusetts and your blood alcohol level (BAL) was at or above .08, pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24(1)(f)(2), the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license or right to operate for a period of 30 days. This suspension is referred to as an administrative per se suspension or a breathalyzer failure suspension. Absolutely no hardship, work, or Cinderella license is authorized by law, unless your criminal case has been properly disposed of pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D, which applies only to OUI 1st offenders or “2nd chance first offenders.”

You have a right to a hearing administrative per se suspensions in the district court where you were charged with DUI. You must appeal within ten (10) days of your suspension to the district court having jurisdiction where the DUI arrest occurred. The only question to be decided at this suspension appeal hearing is whether, after a reasonable period of time from your OUI arrest,  a chemical analysis of your breath of blood showed a reading at or above .08 for a person over 21 years of age or older and a BAC reading at or above .02 for a person under 21 years of age.

Massachusetts administrative per se suspensions will expire by operation of law at the end of the 30 day suspension period or with the disposition of the criminal operating under the influence (DUI) case,  whichever occurs first. In either case, prior to operating a motor vehicle, you must pay a reinstatement fee to the Registry of Motor Vehicles before your license is reactivated and your right to drive is reinstated.

It usually does not make sense to appeal these administrative per se suspensions to the Board of Appeal because by the time your Board of Appeal hearing is held, the 30 day suspension will be over with. If you lose your drunk driving case, you will have a new suspension based on your prior record.