It may be very difficult to obtain a hardship license when you have 3 DUI convictions on your record, even if the court system has treated you as a first or second offender. Pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24(1)(c)(3), being convicted of operating under the influence or assigned to an alcohol program with 2 prior convictions or program assignments will result in an automatic 8 year license revocation. If you refused the breath test in connection with your 3rd OUI, you will have a 5 year chemical test refusal suspension which will be served first. This 5 year suspension for refusing the Breathalyzer will be followed by an 8 year OUI revocation, for a total of 13 years.
If your license was suspended due to a chemical test refusal, you cannot be considered for any type of hardship license unless and until you have served the full term of your refusal suspension. In some cases, I may be able to have your CTR suspension reduced, Contact me to see if this is possible in your case.
The Massachusetts Registry denies most 3rd offenders hardship licenses and requires them to appear before the Board of Appeal. This is because 3rd offenders must have proof of completion of a 90 day in-patient alcohol treatment program. Without evidence of successful completion of this program, the Registry will deny your hardship license request.
Even if you have completed the 90 day 3rd offender program, getting a hardship license from the Registry can be very difficult. The standards are high and hearings officers are generally reluctant grant hardship licenses to 3rd offenders, even with completion of the 90 day alcohol treatment program. Most 3rd offenders are denied and referred to the Board of Appeal, where you should not appear without an attorney who is well versed in hardship license appeals. A few things that you will need to show in order to get a hardship license is a substantial period of sobriety, a legitimate need to drive for work, school, or medical reasons, a favorable risk of recidivism or relapse, and other evidence which indicates that returning you to the roadway will not endanger public safety. Just as Registry hearings officers have heightened concerns regarding third offenders, so does the Board of Appeal.
Despite the difficulties associated with obtaining hardship relief in 3rd offense DUI cases, I have been very successful. One of the secrets of my success is carefully screening my clients and assembling a hearing memorandum which anticipates and address the Board members’ questions and concerns. Putting together a convincing package of documents and information is critical in 3rd offense hardship license appeals and an experienced lawyer can often make the difference between getting a license or getting denied and being forced to serve the balance of an 8 or 13 year license revocation.
All 3rd offenders are ignition interlock required under Melanie’s law and there is no exception to this rule.