Penalties for those Under 21

RMV_21_SUSPENSIONSThe Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles imposes harsh consequences on those who are under 21 years of age and refuse to submit to a chemical test or are arrested for operating under the influence.

G.L. c. 90, § 24P imposes automatic 1 year license suspensions for those arrested for DUI who are under 18 years of age. A person who is over 18 but under 21 years of age will have a 6 month license suspension. It is possible to get a Youth Alcohol Program Suspension (YAP) terminated early or waived by completing an approved driver alcohol education program such as the § 24D First Offender Program. A 6 month Youth Alcohol Program Suspension will be eliminated completely upon program enrollment and a 1 year YAP suspension will be reduced to 180 days.

The Registry stacks Youth Alcohol Program Suspensions against any breathalyzer refusal or breathalyzer failure suspensions. This means that the YAP suspensions runs consecutively and not concurrently with the other suspensions.

It is important to realize that Youth Alcohol Program Suspensions are administrative in nature. This means that the Registry will not waive a YAP suspension on the grounds that the driver was found not guilty of the underlying OUI or the drunk driving charge was dismissed.

Those eligible for 24D First Offender dispositions generally receive 45 days license suspensions instead of the customary 1 year OUI 1st offense suspension. However, those under 21 years old who have their cases resolved pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D will have their licenses suspended for 210 days.

Lastly, a person who has not reached his or her 21st birthday who takes a breathalzyer and registers a blood alcohol content  (BAC) at or above .20 will be required to complete the 14 day in-patient DUIL program instead of the 16 week outpatient 1st offender program.

If a person under 21 years of age refuses to submit to a breath or blood test after being arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, the Registry will suspend the driver’s license for 3 years for a first offense, in addition to the above-listed YAP suspensions imposed pursuant to G.L. c. 90, § 24P.