In the wake of the tragedy in Randolph, New Hampshire where 7 motorcyclists lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident involving Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, a Massachusetts license holder, the Driver Control Unit of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has taken steps which may dramatically increase the number of Massachusetts license suspensions and revocations due to out of state convictions for operating under the influence, Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI), negligent operation, reckless driving, and a variety of other motor vehicle offenses.
When it comes to DUI, Massachusetts employs a lifetime lookback period, so that any DUI committed anywhere at any time, not matter how old it is and no matter where it was committed, can be added to your Massachusetts Driving Record and used against you when calculating the length of a DUI suspension.
Massachusetts law allows the Registry to penalize Massachusetts residents and license holders for out of state convictions and it requires the Registry to indefinitely revoke the license of anyone whose right to operate has been suspended or revoked in any other state.
Fortunately, those impacted by the Registry’s new procedures for handing out of state suspensions, violations, and convictions may be able to obtain relief in the form of a 12 hour hardship license. This restricted type of license is issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles after a hearing and it allows the holder to reinstate his driving privileges on a 12 hour basis. Some hardship license applicants must seek relief from the Board of Appeal instead of the Registry.
In order to be considered for a hardship license, the individual’s right to operate must be reinstated in the jurisdiction where the offense or suspension occurred. You cannot get a hardship license until the out of state license loss is resolved and your right to operate has been reinstated in that jurisdiction. Once that reinstatement occurs, a hardship license can allow you to drive during any Massachusetts license loss resulting from the out of state conviction.