If your license has been suspended due to first offense OUI in Massachusetts, you can be considered for a hardship license, so that you can legally drive for 12 hours each day. So long as you have a documented need to drive for work, medical, or educational purposes, and your 1st offense OUI case was resolved pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D, the Registry will consider you for a hardship license. You probably do not need to waste money on a lawyer. As long as you have proof of enrollment in the 1st offender alcohol program and your received a 1st offender disposition from the court, you probably don’t need a lawyer to handle your hardship license hearing. The vast majority of hardship license applicants receive work licenses without the need for an attorney.
It can be difficult to get a hardship license when it comes to a second, third, or fourth offense OUI and in those cases, it probably makes sense to hire a lawyer to represent you. In first offense cases, however, getting a hardship license is relatively easy. As long as you do not have anything out of the ordinary such as an immediate threat suspension, there is probably no need to hire a lawyer to represent you.
I get a large number of calls from concerned first offenders who are understandably desperate to get back on the road as soon as possible. I advise them of the hardship licensing requirements and instruct them to call me back if the Registry denies them a license. Since I don’t hear back from these people, it seems that they are being granted hardship licenses and have no need to appeal. Therefore, unless 1st offense your case is out of the ordinary, you probably can represent yourself at the Registry and you will most likely get a hardship license.
If you have a complicated case or if you have an out of state license, you should speak with a hardship license attorney. Otherwise, if you are a first offender and you have a valid work letter and proof of alcohol program enrollment, you can probably get a hardship license yourself. I am sure that the OUI case was costly enough and there’s no need to spend more money on a lawyer for your hardship license hearing.
I have been getting a lot of calls from OUI 1st offenders who are looking for hardship licenses. They have had their licenses suspended for 180 days for breathalyzer refusals and, understandably, they want to get back on the road with hardship licenses. However, the general rule in Massachusetts is that you cannot get a hardship license while serving a breathalyzer refusal suspension.
There is an exception to the no hardship license during a refusal suspension rule. The exception is that 1st offenders who have their cases resolved pursuant to G.L. c. 90 § 24D can get be considered for 12 hour hardship licenses. However, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will not consider anyone for a hardship license unless and until the first offender is legally qualified and the operating under the influence case was resolved under § 24D. This means that you cannot be considered for a hardship license immediately after your drunk driving arrest. Instead, you must wait until the case is resolved in court. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule, no matter how important you job is or how badly you need to drive. The Registry has no legal ability to consider you for a hardship license until your case is resolved.