Here’s one man’s plight:
In May of 2005, I was charged with and pleaded out to 3rd offense O.U.I. This was later upgraded to a 4th offense after closer examination several mouths later. My sentence was also increased to a 2 & 1/2 year 2 mandatory from straight 2 year sentence. Shortly after my release I received a letter in the mail from the RMV. The letter stated that I could be considered for a reinstatement of my license upon installation of an interlock Breathalyzer gadget with the stipulation of monthly recalibration at $90 per month. About 4 months or so after completing the interlock program and subsequent removal of the ignition interlock device, I received a letter that my license would be revoked from between 10 years to lifetime. This was due to 2 new laws passed some time months and years after both my arrest & conviction. I went to motor vehicle court of appeals and was told I had a lifetime revocation but could appeal in a couple of years for a hardship license. It is important to point out here that I have since become disabled due to a roofing accident & fall which left one vertebrae with multiple fractures and spinal cord damage. As well as a crushed foot & ankle. In order to do part time work in my field of carpentry I would need to use my car to transport tools and equipment. I am barely surviving on a $1,075 disability check. My rent for a small studio apartment is $650.00.
The unfortunate result:
Unfortunately for this repeat offender, there is no way that he will obtain a hardship license. He has a lifetime revocation with no possibility for hardship relief. When he committed his most recent operating under the influence offense, in May of 2005, lifetime lookback was in place, even though Melanie’s Law did not go into effect until October 28, 2005. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts had implemented lifetime look-back for DUI convictions several years earlier. Thus, 3 DUI convictions results in an 8 year revocation, 4 DUI convictions will result in a 10 year license loss, and 5 or more drunk driving convictions will automatically trigger a permanent lifetime license revocation.
Here, the Registry was unaware of some DUI convictions and this driver was allowed to reinstate his driver’s license with an ignition interlock device, because he was treated as a second offender. Once the Registry found multiple other OUI convictions, the Registry added them to his Registry record and how he’s revoked for life with no possibility of obtaining a hardship license, no matter how badly he needs one.