The 24D First Offender Program

In certain cases, a person charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Liquor (DUI), may elect to dispose of his/her case pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D. Under this disposition, the defendant must attend and satisfactorily complete an approved driver Alcohol Education Program. This structured program which consists of sixteen (16) educational classes, one two (2) hour evening per week, two (2) hours per session. In addition there will be an intake interview, an exit interview, two (2) mandatory Alcohol Anonymous meetings and one (1) required Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Forum. The cost of the 24D Alcohol Education Program is approximately $710.00.

Under this DUI disposition, the defendant’s driver’s license or right to operate a Motor Vehicle in Massachusetts will be automatically suspended for a minimum of 45 days and a maximum of 90 days, at the discretion of the judge who handles the case. This suspension runs after any chemical test refusal suspension. This 24D suspension is dramatically shorter than the 1 year suspension which a first offense DUI conviction normally carries in Massachusetts. The 24D suspension period does not include any suspension time served prior to the arraignment such as the 30 day admin. per se suspension period.

A DUI defendant receiving a 24D disposition will be placed on probation supervision for at least one year. While on probation, the defendant must report monthly, pay a monthly probation fee, and comply with all terms and conditions, which will be explained in detail by the supervising probation officer. Those receiving this first offender disposition usually have to surrender their driver’s licenses to a probation officer and the license is destroyed. This requires the probationer to get a new license upon the final resolution of the case or sooner if a hardship license is authorized by the Registry.

Any drunk driving defendant who fails to comply with the conditions of probation, will be brought back before the court for a violation of probation hearing and he or she may face the possibility of incarceration or some other consequence, such as a 1 year license suspension, for a probation violation.

If all of the conditions of probation have been met satisfactorily, the probation supervision will be terminated and the defendant will be discharged.