If you are convicted of operating under the influence in Massachusetts or you admit to sufficient facts and receive a continuance without a finding (CWOF), you will be placed on probation. When you are on probation, you will be required to abide by certain terms and conditions. For example, you may be required to maintain employment, or, if you re unemployed, you may be required to actively look for employment, you may also be required to attend and complete an educational program such as the § 24D first offender alcohol program, the DUIL 14 day residential program in Tewksbury, or another alcohol treatment program. You may have to adhere to travel restrictions and meet periodically with a probation officer. In drunk driving cases, you will likely be required to refrain from drug or alcohol consumption. Other common OUI probation conditions include mandatory Alcoholics Anonymous attendance and/or individual alcohol counseling. Financial obligations include the payment of monthly probation fees. Drug testing as well as breathalzyer tests may be performed to insure compliance.
For those seeking hardship licenses in Massachusetts, it is imperative to not violate the terms and conditions of probation. Both the Massachusetts RMV and the Board of Appeal of the Massachusetts Division of insurance look for letters from probation officers as part of hardship license hearings. These letters should state that the hardship license applicant has not had any probation violations and that he or she is in good standing with probation. Also, the Registry and Board of Appeal will review your probation record as part of an hardship license appeal and probation violations stick out like a sore thumb.
Having a probation violation on your record may disqualify you from being considered for a hardship license, especially if the probation violation is due to another alcohol related incident or being arrested for a new offense such as operating after suspension. Also, the Appeals Board and Registry take a negative view of any probation violations due to failure to complete a required alcohol program or court-ordered counseling. If you had a violation of probation on your record due to your most recent OUI, you should be ready to fully explain and address this at your hardship license hearing. A lawyer can help you with this.
The Registry’s Board of Appeal is hesitant to grant hardship licenses to those with probation violations because the Board members are concerned that if someone cannot follow their terms and conditions of probation, they may not be able to follow the rules associated with a hardship license and/ or they may be at risk of re-offending.