If you are a Massachusetts license holder, being arrested for a DUI in another state can have a major impact on your driver’s license. This is because G.L. c. 90 § 22(c) requires the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles to indefinitely revoke your Mass. driver’s license upon receipt of notification from any other state that your right to drive has been suspended in that state. The RMV will not issue any hardship license whatsoever for out of state suspensions or revocations, regardless of the reason for the license loss.
Getting an out of state suspension cleared and resolved in Massachusetts can be extremely difficult, especially if the suspension was triggered by a breathalyzer failure, chemical test refusal, or drunk driving charge. In those situations, MassDOT will not clear the indefinite National Driver Register (NDR) revocation unless and until it receives “proof of findings” regarding the out of state DUI case. Upon receipt of these “proof of findings,” in the form official court or DMV Records, a Registry Hearing Officer will add the DUI conviction onto the customer’s Massachusetts Driving Record.
When an out of state DUI or DWAI conviction is added to a person’s Mass. driving record, the Registry’s computer will automatically generate a license suspension, the length of which is determined by the driver’s prior record. Any prior DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments anywhere at any time, which appear on the record, will subject the driver to enhanced suspension penalties and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device.
In some cases, I have been very successful in reducing out of state DUI and DWAI suspension penalties based on legal grounds. In other cases, I have successfully obtained hardship licenses for qualified candidates who can demonstrate a need to drive and that any alcohol or drug issues have been addressed, such that putting the driver back on the road will not endanger public safety. Once the out of state suspension has been completely resolved and the client’s right to operate has been reinstated in the jurisdiction where the offense occurred, hardship relief is possible at either the Registry or the Board of Appeal, depending on the facts of the case.
If you are an out of state DUI lawyer, I invite you to contact me before agreeing to a plea bargain, so that I can advise you how the plea will be treated here in Massachusetts and what suspension consequences it is likely to trigger.