A second offense DUI in Massachusetts carries an automatic 2 year license suspension. In order to get a hardship license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles you must serve 1 year of the 2 year suspension. Also, you must complete the 14 day in-patient DUIL program in Tewksbury and 26 weeks of aftercare.
The Board of Appeal does not hold hardship license candidates to the same requirements. However, the Board is concerned with risk of recidivism, which is the risk of the second offender having a “relapse.”
In some cases, if your first offense DUI conviction entered 10 or more years prior to your 2nd offense, you may be able to get treated as a “2nd chance first offender.” This means that you can avoid the 2 year license suspension and only serve a 45 to 90 day suspension of your driver’s license. This disposition, which is commonly referred to as a “Cahill” disposition, must be approved by the judge who presided over your DUI case. If you get a Cahill disposition on your 2nd offense DUI, then you will only be required to complete the 1st offender 24D alcohol program and not the 14 day 2nd offender program.
All DUI second offenders must use a certified breath alcohol ignition interlock device during the full term of any hardship license and for 2 years after getting a full reinstatement. This is a requirement of Melanie’s Law and the only exception allows certain qualified out of state residents to reinstate their licenses in their home states without the ignition interlock device. However, these non-residents will never be allowed to drive in Massachusetts or obtain a Massachusetts license without serving at least 2 full years with the IID. The initial cost for an ignition interlock device is approximately $125.00 and it costs approximately $85.00 per month for the required monitoring and downloading.
When determining whether you are 2nd offender, for license suspension and ignition interlock purposes, the Registry is required to count all DUI convictions, no matter when or where they occurred. This means that if you had a DUI conviction in Florida in 1971 and the Registry has notice of it, the RMV will count that offense as prior conviction. The Registry can count all prior operating under the influence convictions or alcohol program assignments. It is irrelevant that the court only found you guilty of a first offense. If the Registry has knowledge of a prior DUI, it can be used to increase what is normally a 45 day suspension under § 24D to 2 year loss of license. Also, if you have any prior DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments, you will be ignition interlock required and the Mass. Registry will place a restriction “Z” on your license.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles charges a $700.00 reinstatement fee for OUI 2nd offense reinstatements, whether you get a full license or hardship license. Also, you must pay $30.00 for a new license and additional fees if you are required to take written and road tests. These fees are separate from the fees associated with breath alcohol ignition interlock devices, which the RMV requires pursuant to Melanie’s Law and G.L. c. 90 § 24 ½.