I recently spoke with a third offender who was denied a hardship license by the Registry of Motor Vehicles because he had not completed the required ninety (90) day in-patient alcohol treatment program. Since the Mass. RMV requires documented completion of the 3 month residential treatment program for those who have 8 year OUI 3rd offense revocations, the Registry denied this gentleman a hardship license and the hearings officer referred him to the Board of Appeal.
He filed the appeal on his own and called me because he thought that it might be better to hire a lawyer to represent him at his upcoming hardship license hearing. This was a smart move because if the Board denies you a hardship license, you may be required to serve your full suspension with no hardship relief. The issuance of a hardship license is considered “extraordinary relief” by the courts and the Board of Appeals has complete discretion when it comes to hardship licensing in Massachusetts. This is why it is very important to put together a comprehensive package of documents which demonstrate that you have a hardship and that any drug or alcohol issues have been brought under control.
I regularly get calls from people who have made the mistake of trying to represent themselves in hardship license appeals only to have gotten denied. When this happens, there is usually little that I can do and unless the Board grants them a re-apply date, they are forced to serve the balance of their suspensions, some of which are for 8 or 10 years.
Getting a hardship license often takes skill and considerable preparation. Those who are serious about it should hire a lawyer who regularly practices before the Registry and Board of Appeal. Undoubtedly, some individuals are granted hardship licenses without a lawyer. However, if you are serious about getting your driver’s license reinstated, hiring a lawyer can definitely increase your chances of success.