Massachusetts Drivers License Hardship Law

Drivers Hardship License Law – General – Massachusetts

MOTOR VEHICLES

Chapter 90: Section 22F Habitual traffic offender; revocation of license; reinstatement

Section 22F. A person shall be deemed an habitual traffic offender when records maintained by the registrar show that such person has accumulated the following convictions within a five-year period; provided, however, that when a person who has no prior record of an automobile law violation, as defined in section one of chapter ninety C, is convicted of more than one of the violations referred to in this section, if such offenses all occurred within a six-hour period, such convictions shall for the purposes of this section be treated as a single conviction:–(1) three or more convictions, singularly or in combination, of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs in violation of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) of section twenty-four; operating a motor vehicle recklessly or negligently so that the lives and safety of the public might be endangered; making a false statement in an application for a learner’s permit or motor vehicle operator’s license or in an application for registration of a motor vehicle; going away without making known his name, residence and the registration number of his vehicle after knowingly colliding with or otherwise causing injury to any person, other vehicle or property, all in violation of paragraph (a) of subdivision (2) of section twenty-four; operating a motor vehicle after suspension or revocation of the person’s motor vehicle operator’s license or his right to operate motor vehicles in violation of section twenty-three; operating a motor vehicle without a license in violation of section ten; or the commission of any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used; or twelve or more convictions of offenses which are required by any provision of law to be reported to the registrar and for which the registrar is authorized or required to suspend or revoke the person’s license or right to operate motor vehicles for a period of thirty days or more, including convictions of the offenses listed above.

When the records of the registrar on any person contain reports of such convictions as will constitute such person an habitual traffic offender, the registrar shall hold a hearing within six months from such third conviction, and shall give notice to such person that such hearing will be held to show cause why such person should not be designated as an habitual traffic offender. Such notice shall be sent not less than twenty-one days prior to the date for such hearing, shall contain a list of the person’s convictions, and shall otherwise be in such form as the registrar shall prescribe. If the person named in such notice is a nonresident, such notice shall be sent to his last known address of which the registrar has a record; or, if none, to the motor vehicle department of any state in which such person resides or which has issued a motor vehicle operator’s license or permit to such person. If such person denies he was convicted of any offense necessary for a determination that he is an habitual offender, and if the registrar cannot, on the evidence available to him, make such determination, the registrar may refer the decision of such issue to the court in which such conviction was made. The said court shall forthwith conduct a hearing to determine such issue and send a certified copy of its final order determining such issue to the registrar.

If the registrar finds that such person is not the same person named in the records of conviction, or that he is otherwise not an habitual offender under this section, no action shall be taken; but if the registrar finds that such person is the same person named in the record of conviction and that such person is an habitual offender, the registrar shall immediately revoke such person’s license or right to operate. The registrar, after having revoked the license or right to operate of any person under this section, shall not issue a new license or reinstate the right to operate to such person for a period of four years from the date of revocation, nor until such person has satisfactorily completed a driver improvement course approved by the registrar and has passed such examination as to his competence to operate motor vehicles as the registrar may require; provided, however, that such person may, after the expiration of one year, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the sole grounds of hardship, and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such a license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary. An appeal to the superior court may be had, in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, from any order of the registrar of motor vehicles made under the provisions of this section.

ARTICLE VEHICLES.

Chapter 90: Section 24D Probation of persons convicted of driving under the influence; driver alcohol education program; alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs; fees; indigents; gifts and grants; report

[ First paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

Section 24D. Any person convicted of or charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, may if such person consents, be placed on probation for not more than two years and shall, as a condition of probation, be assigned to a driver alcohol education program as provided herein and, if deemed necessary by the court, to an alcohol treatment or rehabilitation program or to both, and such person’s license or right to operate shall be suspended for a period of no less than forty-five nor more than ninety days; provided, however, that if such person was under the age of twenty-one when the offense was committed, the person’s license or right to operate shall be suspended for two hundred and ten days, and such person shall be assigned to a program specifically designed by the department of public health for the education and treatment of underage drinking drivers. Such order of probation shall be in addition to any penalties imposed as provided in subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) of section twenty-four and shall be in addition to any requirements imposed as a condition for any suspension of sentence. Said person shall cooperate in an investigation conducted by the probation staff of the court for supervision of cases of operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor in such manner as the commissioner of probation shall determine. A defendant not otherwise prohibited by this section, upon conviction after a trial on the merits, shall be presumed to be an appropriate candidate for the above mentioned programs; provided, however, that a judge who deems that the defendant is not a suitable candidate for said programs shall make such findings in writing.

[ First paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Secs. 8–12 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

Any person convicted of or charged with operating a motor vehicle with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, controlled substance or the vapors of glue, may if such person consents, be placed on probation for not more than two years and shall, as a condition of probation, be assigned to a driver alcohol education program as provided herein and, if deemed necessary by the court, to an alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation program or to both, and such person’s license or right to operate shall be suspended for a period of no less than forty-five nor more than ninety days; provided, however, that if such person was under the age of twenty-one when the offense was committed, the person’s license or right to operate shall be suspended for two hundred and ten days, and such person shall be assigned to a program specifically designed by the department of public health for the education and treatment of drivers who operates a motor vehicle after or while consuming alcohol, controlled substances or the vapors of glue. Such order of probation shall be in addition to any penalties imposed as provided in subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1) of section twenty-four and shall be in addition to any requirements imposed as a condition for any suspension of sentence. Said person shall cooperate in an investigation conducted by the probation staff of the court for supervision of cases of operating under the influence and operating with a blood alcohol percentage of eight one-hundredths or greater, or in such manner as the commissioner of probation shall determine. A defendant not otherwise prohibited by this section, upon conviction after a trial on the merits, shall be presumed to be an appropriate candidate for the above mentioned programs; provided, however, that a judge who deems that the defendant is not a suitable candidate for said programs shall make such findings in writing.

This section shall apply to any person who has never been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction. This section shall also apply to any person convicted of or charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor who has been convicted of such offense or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a single like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction 10 years or more before the date of the commission of the offense for which he is to be sentenced, once in his lifetime. If, after receiving a sentence for a second disposition pursuant to this paragraph, a person is convicted of an additional operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor all prior convictions or assignments to an alcohol or controlled substances program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction shall be counted for purposes of sentencing under subdivision (1) of section 24.

This section shall not apply to any person who caused serious personal injury to or the death of another person during the events that gave rise to the complaint or indictment for operating under the influence of alcohol.

[ Fourth paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

The suspended license or right to operate shall be retained in the probation office of the court for the duration of the suspension period. The court shall immediately report the suspension to the registrar and the police department of the municipality in which the defendant is domiciled.

[ Fourth paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Sec. 13 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

Upon each disposition under this section, the defendant will surrender any Massachusetts drivers license or permit in his possession to the probation department of that court. The probation department will dispose of the license, and the court shall report the disposition in the case in a manner as determined by the registrar. Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (1) of paragraph (c) of subdivision (2) of section 24, subparagraph (1) of paragraph (f) of subdivision (1) of section 24, and section 24P, a defendant may immediately upon entering a program pursuant to this section apply to the registrar for consideration of a limited license for hardship purposes. The registrar, at his discretion, may issue such license under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe. Any such license shall be valid for an identical 12 hour period, 7 days a week. This provision shall also apply to any other suspensions due to the same incident that may be in effect pursuant to said subparagraph (1) of paragraph (c) of subdivision (2) of section 24, said subparagraph (1) of paragraph (f) of subdivision (1) of said section 24 and section 24P of this chapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize hardship eligibility if the person is suspended or revoked, or to be suspended or revoked, under any other statute not referenced in this section, or due to any other incident. Failure of the operator to complete his obligations to the program, or remain in compliance with court probation, shall be cause for immediate revocation of the hardship license. In these and all cases where a hardship license is sought by an operator, the probation office for the court where the offender is on probation will, upon request, furnish the registry with documentation verifying the person’s status with probation.

[ Fifth paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

Driver alcohol education programs utilized under the provisions of this section shall be established and administered by the director of the division of alcoholism in consultation with the registrar and the secretary of public safety, and shall include but shall not be limited to instruction on driver improvement skills as part of the course content.

[ Fifth paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Sec. 14 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

Driver alcohol education programs utilized under the provisions of this section shall be established and administered by the department of public health in consultation with the registrar and the secretary of public safety, and shall include but shall not be limited to instruction on driver improvement skills as part of the course content.

[ Sixth paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

Alcohol treatment, rehabilitation program or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs utilized under the provisions of this section shall include any public or private out-patient clinic, hospital, employer or union-sponsored program, self-help group, or any other organization, facility, service or program which the division of alcoholism has accepted as appropriate for the purposes of this section. The division shall prepare and publish annually a list of all such accepted alcohol treatment, rehabilitation programs and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs, shall make this list available upon request to members of the public, and shall from time to time furnish each court in the commonwealth, the registrar, and the secretary of public safety with a current copy of said list.

[ Sixth paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Secs. 10, 15, and 16 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

Alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation program or alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation programs utilized under the provisions of this section shall include any public or private out-patient clinic, hospital, employer or union-sponsored program, self-help group, or any other organization, facility, service or program which the department of public health has accepted as appropriate for the purposes of this section. The department of public health shall prepare and publish annually a list of all such accepted alcohol treatment, rehabilitation programs and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation programs, shall make this list available upon request to members of the public, and shall from time to time furnish each court in the commonwealth, the registrar, and the secretary of public safety with a current copy of said list.

[ Seventh paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

Each person placed in a program of driver alcohol education and, if deemed necessary by the court, a program of alcohol treatment, rehabilitation, or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation pursuant to this section shall pay directly to such program a fee in an amount to be determined by the director of the division of alcoholism. The director shall establish and may from time to time revise a schedule of uniform fees to be charged by such programs which shall not exceed the actual cost per client of running said programs after notice and a public hearing, provided that until such time as the director establishes a schedule of such fees pursuant to this section the fee for such programs shall be two hundred dollars. The division shall promulgate regulations relative to the methodology of setting such fees. No person may be excluded from said program for inability to pay the stated fee, provided that such person files an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay with the court within ten days of the date of disposition, that investigation by the probation officer confirms such indigency or establishes that the payment of such fee would cause a grave and serious hardship to such individual or to the family of such individual, and that the court enters a written finding thereof. In lieu of waiver of the entire amount of said fee, the court may direct such individual to make partial or installment payments of such fee when appropriate. Subject to appropriation, the division shall reimburse each program for the costs of services provided to persons for whom payment of a fee has been waived on the grounds of indigency.

[ Seventh paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Secs. 10, 14, 16 and 17 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

Each person placed in a program of driver alcohol or controlled substance abuse education and, if deemed necessary by the court, a program of alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation, or alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation pursuant to this section shall pay directly to such program a fee in an amount to be determined by the department of public health. The department of public health shall establish and may from time to time revise a schedule of uniform fees to be charged by such programs which shall not exceed the actual cost per client of running said programs after notice and a public hearing, provided that until such time as the department of public health establishes a schedule of such fees pursuant to this section the fee for such programs shall be two hundred dollars. The department of public health shall promulgate regulations relative to the methodology of setting such fees. No person may be excluded from said program for inability to pay the stated fee, provided that such person files an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay with the court within ten days of the date of disposition, that investigation by the probation officer confirms such indigency or establishes that the payment of such fee would cause a grave and serious hardship to such individual or to the family of such individual, and that the court enters a written finding thereof. In lieu of waiver of the entire amount of said fee, the court may direct such individual to make partial or installment payments of such fee when appropriate. Subject to appropriation, the department of public health shall reimburse each program for the costs of services provided to persons for whom payment of a fee has been waived on the grounds of indigency.

[ Eighth paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

The state treasurer may accept for the commonwealth for the purpose of driver alcohol education, treatment, or rehabilitation any gift or bequest of money or property and any grant, loan, service, payment of property from a governmental authority. Any such money received shall be deposited in the state treasury for expenditure by the division of alcoholism subject to appropriation for the support of said driver alcohol treatment or rehabilitation programs in accordance with the conditions of the gift, grant, or loan. Any federal legislation generating funds for driver alcohol education or treatment or rehabilitation shall be used by the division of alcoholism to the extent possible to support the purposes of this section.

[ Eighth paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Secs. 10 and 15 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

The state treasurer may accept for the commonwealth for the purpose of driver alcohol or controlled substance abuse education, treatment, or rehabilitation any gift or bequest of money or property and any grant, loan, service, payment of property from a governmental authority. Any such money received shall be deposited in the state treasury for expenditure by the department of public health subject to appropriation for the support of said driver alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation programs in accordance with the conditions of the gift, grant, or loan. Any federal legislation generating funds for driver alcohol or controlled substance abuse education or treatment or rehabilitation shall be used by the department of public health to the extent possible to support the purposes of this section.

[ Ninth paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

An additional fee of two hundred and fifty dollars shall be paid to the chief probation officer of each court by each person placed in a program of driver alcohol education pursuant to this section and all such fees shall be deposited with the state treasurer, subject to appropriation, for the support of programs operated by the secretary of public safety, the alcohol beverage control commission, and the department of public health for the investigation, enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation of those persons convicted of or charged with driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

[ Ninth paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Sec. 10 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

An additional fee of two hundred and fifty dollars shall be paid to the chief probation officer of each court by each person placed in a program of driver alcohol or controlled substance abuse education pursuant to this section and all such fees shall be deposited with the state treasurer, subject to appropriation, for the support of programs operated by the secretary of public safety, the alcohol beverage control commission, and the department of public health for the investigation, enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation of those persons convicted of or charged with driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

No such fee shall be collected from any person who, after the filing of an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay with the court within ten days of disposition and investigation by the probation officer confirming such indigency or establishing that the payment of such fee would cause a grave and serious hardship to such individual or to the family thereof, is determined by the court to be indigent, provided that the court enters a written finding thereof. In lieu of waiver of the entire amount of said fee, the court may direct such individual to make partial or installment payments of such fee when appropriate. Failure to pay the fees required under this section shall, unless excused, constitute sufficient basis for a finding by the court at a hearing held pursuant to section twenty-four E that the person has failed to satisfactorily comply with the program.

[ Eleventh paragraph effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

The commissioner of probation shall report in writing at least once annually to the director of the division of alcoholism on the total number of persons who have received disposition hereunder and on the number of such persons who have been determined by the court to require alcohol treatment or rehabilitation, or both. Said commissioner and the chief justices of the district courts and the Boston municipal court shall make further written report at least once annually to said director on the resources available for alcohol treatment or rehabilitation, or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation, of alcohol-impaired drivers, which report shall evaluate the existing resources and shall make recommendation as to additional necessary resources. Said director shall take such reports into consideration in the development, implementation, and review of the state’s alcoholism plan and in the preparation of the division’s annual budget in a manner consistent with the Alcoholism Treatment and Rehabilitation Law.

[ Eleventh paragraph as amended by 2003, 28, Secs. 10, 14 and 17–19, effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

The commissioner of probation shall report in writing at least once annually to the department of public health on the total number of persons who have received disposition hereunder and on the number of such persons who have been determined by the court to require alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation, or both. Said commissioner and the chief justices of the district courts and the Boston municipal court shall make further written report at least once annually to said department of public health on the resources available for alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation, or alcohol or controlled substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation, of alcohol-impaired or controlled substance abuse-impaired drivers, which report shall evaluate the existing resources and shall make recommendation as to additional necessary resources. Said department of public health shall take such reports into consideration in the development, implementation, and review of the state’s alcoholism or controlled substance abuse plan and in the preparation of the division’s annual budget in a manner consistent with the Alcoholism Treatment and Rehabilitation Law.

When imposing a sentence pursuant to subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) of section twenty-four or this section, the court may consider requiring the defendant, as a condition of probation, to serve a minimum of thirty hours in public service or in a community work project.

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART I.
ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XIV.
PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS

CHAPTER 90. MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT

ARTICLE VEHICLES.

Chapter 90: Section 24 Driving while under influence of intoxicating liquor, etc.; second and subsequent offenses; punishment; treatment programs; reckless and unauthorized driving; failure to stop after collision

[ First paragraph of subsection (1)(a)(1) effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

Section 24. (1) (a) (1) Whoever, upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined in section one of chapter ninety-four C, or the vapors of glue shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

[ First paragraph of subsection (1)(a)(1) as amended by 2003, 28, Sec. 1 effective June 30, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above.]

(1) (a) (1) Whoever, upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees, operates a motor vehicle with a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater, or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined in section one of chapter ninety-four C, or the vapors of glue shall be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment.

[ Second paragraph of subsection (1)(a)(1) effective until June 30, 2003. For text effective June 30, 2003, see below.]

There shall be an assessment of $125 against a person who, by a court of the commonwealth, is convicted of, is placed on probation for, or is granted a continuance without a finding for or otherwise pleads guilty to or admits to a finding of sufficient facts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances pursuant to the provisions of this section; provided, however, that moneys collected pursuant to said assessment shall be deposited by the court with the treasurer into the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund established by section 59 of chapter 10. In the discretion of the court, an assessment pursuant to this paragraph may be reduced or waived only upon a written finding of fact that such payment would cause the person against whom the assessment is imposed severe financial hardship. Such a finding shall be made independently of a finding of indigency for purposes of appointing counsel. If the person is sentenced to a correctional facility in the commonwealth and the assessment has not been paid, the court shall note the assessment on the mittimus.

[ Second paragraph of subsection (1)(a)(1) as amended by 2003, 28, Sec. 2 effective June 30, 2003 until July 1, 2003. For text effective until June 30, 2003, see above. For text effective July 1, 2003, see below.]

There shall be an assessment of $250 against a person who, by a court of the commonwealth, is convicted of, is placed on probation for, or is granted a continuance without a finding for or otherwise pleads guilty to or admits to a finding of sufficient facts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances pursuant to the provisions of this section; provided, however, that moneys collected pursuant to said assessment shall be deposited by the court with the treasurer into the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund established by section 59 of chapter 10. In the discretion of the court, an assessment pursuant to this paragraph may be reduced or waived only upon a written finding of fact that such payment would cause the person against whom the assessment is imposed severe financial hardship. Such a finding shall be made independently of a finding of indigency for purposes of appointing counsel. If the person is sentenced to a correctional facility in the commonwealth and the assessment has not been paid, the court shall note the assessment on the mittimus.

[ Second paragraph of subsection (1)(a)(1) as amended by 2003, 26, Sec. 228 effective July 1, 2003. See 2003, 26, Sec. 715 For text effective until July 1, 2003, see above.]

There shall be an assessment of $250 against a person who, by a court of the commonwealth, is convicted of, is placed on probation for, or is granted a continuance without a finding for or otherwise pleads guilty to or admits to a finding of sufficient facts of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances under this section; but $125 of the $250 collected under this assessment shall be deposited by the court with the state treasurer into the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund, and the remaining amount of the assessment shall be credited to the General Fund. In the discretion of the court, an assessment under this paragraph may be reduced or waived only upon a written finding of fact that such payment would cause the person against whom the assessment is imposed severe financial hardship. Such a finding shall be made independently of a finding of indigency for purposes of appointing counsel. If the person is sentenced to a correctional facility in the commonwealth and the assessment has not been paid, the court shall note the assessment on the mittimus.

There shall be an assessment of $50 against a person who is convicted, placed on probation or granted a continuance without a finding or who otherwise pleads guilty to or admits to a finding of sufficient facts for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or under the influence of marihuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, all as defined by section 1 of chapter 94C, pursuant to this section or section 24D or 24E or subsection (a) or (b) of section 24G or section 24L. The assessment shall not be subject to waiver by the court for any reason. If a person against whom a fine is assessed is sentenced to a correctional facility and the assessment has not been paid, the court shall note the assessment on the mittimus. The monies collected pursuant to the fees established by this paragraph shall be transmitted monthly by the courts to the state treasurer who shall then deposit, invest and transfer the monies, from time to time, into the Victims of Drunk Driving Trust Fund established in section 66 of chapter 10. The monies shall then be administered, pursuant to said section 66 of said chapter 10, by the victim and witness assistance board for the purposes set forth in said section 66. Fees paid by an individual into the Victims of Drunk Driving Trust Fund pursuant to this section shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other fee imposed by the court pursuant to this chapter or any other chapter. The administrative office of the trial court shall file a report detailing the amount of funds imposed and collected pursuant to this section to the house and senate committees on ways and means and to the victim and witness assistance board not later than August 15 of each calendar year.

If the defendant has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment, or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like violation preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than six hundred nor more than ten thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than sixty days nor more than two and one-half years; provided, however, that the sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than thirty days, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until such person has served thirty days of such sentence, unless otherwise sentenced to an intermediate sanction as promulgated by the sentencing commission established in chapter four hundred and thirty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-three; provided, further, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subdivision a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative; to visit a critically ill relative; to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric services unavailable at said institution; to engage in employment pursuant to a work release program; or for the purposes of an aftercare program designed to support the recovery of an offender who has completed an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program operated by the department of correction; and provided, further, that the defendant may serve all or part of such thirty day sentence to the extent such resources are available in a correctional facility specifically designated by the department of correction for the incarceration and rehabilitation of drinking drivers.

If the defendant has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment, or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth, or any other jurisdiction because of a like offense two times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than one hundred and eighty days nor more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years; provided, however, that the sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than one hundred and fifty days, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served one hundred and fifty days of such sentence, unless otherwise sentenced to an intermediate sanction as promulgated by the sentencing commission established in chapter four hundred and thirty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-three; provided, further, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subdivision a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative, to visit a critically ill relative; to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric services unavailable at said institution; to engage in employment pursuant to a work release program; or for the purposes of an aftercare program designed to support the recovery of an offender who has completed an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program operated by the department of correction; and provided, further, that the defendant may serve all or part of such one hundred and fifty days sentence to the extent such resources are available in a correctional facility specifically designated by the department of correction for the incarceration and rehabilitation of drinking drivers.

If the defendant has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment, or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like offense three times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand five hundred nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than two years nor more than two and one-half years, or by a fine of not less than one thousand five hundred nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars and by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years; provided, however, that the sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than twelve months, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until such person has served twelve months of such sentence, unless otherwise sentenced to an intermediate sanction as promulgated by the sentencing commission established in chapter four hundred and thirty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-three; provided, further, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subdivision a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative; to visit a critically ill relative; to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric services unavailable at said institution; to engage in employment pursuant to a work release program; or for the purposes of an aftercare program designed to support the recovery of an offender who has completed an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program operated by the department of correction; and provided, further, that the defendant may serve all or part of such twelve months sentence to the extent that resources are available in a correctional facility specifically designated by the department of correction for the incarceration and rehabilitation of drinking drivers.

If the defendant has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like offense four or more times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than two thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than two thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars and by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years; provided, however, that the sentence imposed upon such person shall not be reduced to less than twenty-four months, nor suspended, nor shall any such person be eligible for probation, parole, or furlough or receive any deduction from his sentence for good conduct until he shall have served twenty-four months of such sentence, unless otherwise sentenced to an intermediate sanction as promulgated by the sentencing commission established in chapter four hundred and thirty-two of the acts of nineteen hundred and ninety-three; provided, further, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subdivision a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative; to visit a critically ill relative; to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric services unavailable at said institution; to engage in employment pursuant to a work release program; or for the purposes of an aftercare program designed to support the recovery of an offender who has completed an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program operated by the department of correction; and provided, further, that the defendant may serve all or part of such twenty-four months sentence to the extent that resources are available in a correctional facility specifically designated by the department of correction for the incarceration and rehabilitation of drinking drivers.

A prosecution commenced under the provisions of this subparagraph shall not be placed on file or continued without a finding except for dispositions under section twenty-four D. No trial shall be commenced on a complaint alleging a violation of this subparagraph, nor shall any plea be accepted on such complaint, nor shall the prosecution on such complaint be transferred to another division of the district court or to a jury-of-six session, until the court receives a report from the commissioner of probation pertaining to the defendant’s record, if any, of prior convictions of such violations or of assignment to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment, or rehabilitation program because of a like offense; provided, however, that the provisions of this paragraph shall not justify the postponement of any such trial or of the acceptance of any such plea for more than five working days after the date of the defendant’s arraignment. The commissioner of probation shall give priority to requests for such records.

At any time before the commencement of a trial or acceptance of a plea on a complaint alleging a violation of this subparagraph, the prosecutor may apply for the issuance of a new complaint pursuant to section thirty-five A of chapter two hundred and eighteen alleging a violation of this subparagraph and one or more prior like violations. If such application is made, upon motion of the prosecutor, the court shall stay further proceedings on the original complaint pending the determination of the application for the new complaint. If a new complaint is issued, the court shall dismiss the original complaint and order that further proceedings on the new complaint be postponed until the defendant has had sufficient time to prepare a defense.

If a defendant waives right to a jury trial pursuant to section twenty-six A of chapter two hundred and eighteen on a complaint under this subdivision he shall be deemed to have waived his right to a jury trial on all elements of said complaint.

(2) Except as provided in subparagraph (4) the provisions of section eighty-seven of chapter two hundred and seventy-six shall not apply to any person charged with a violation of subparagraph (1) and if said person has been convicted of or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction preceding the commission of the offense with which he is charged.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of section six A of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine, the court may order that a defendant convicted of a violation of subparagraph (1) be imprisoned only on designated weekends, evenings or holidays; provided, however, that the provisions of this subparagraph shall apply only to a defendant who has not been convicted previously of such violation or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (1) and (2), a judge, before imposing a sentence on a defendant who pleads guilty to or is found guilty of a violation of subparagraph (1) and who has not been convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like offense two or more times of the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, shall receive a report from the probation department of a copy of the defendant’s driving record, the criminal record of the defendant, if any, and such information as may be available as to the defendant’s use of alcohol and may, upon a written finding that appropriate and adequate treatment is available to the defendant and the defendant would benefit from such treatment and that the safety of the public would not be endangered, with the defendant’s consent place a defendant on probation for two years; provided, however, that a condition for such probation shall be that the defendant be confined for no less than fourteen days in a residential alcohol treatment program and to participate in an out patient counseling program designed for such offenders as provided or sanctioned by the division of alcoholism, pursuant to regulations to be promulgated by said division in consultation with the department of correction and with the approval of the secretary of health and human services or at any other facility so sanctioned or regulated as may be established by the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof for the purpose of alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation, and comply with all conditions of said residential alcohol treatment program. Such condition of probation shall specify a date before which such residential alcohol treatment program shall be attended and completed.

Failure of the defendant to comply with said conditions and any other terms of probation as imposed under this section shall be reported forthwith to the court and proceedings under the provisions of section three of chapter two hundred and seventy-nine shall be commenced. In such proceedings, such defendant shall be taken before the court and if the court finds that he has failed to attend or complete the residential alcohol treatment program before the date specified in the conditions of probation, the court shall forthwith specify a second date before which such defendant shall attend or complete such program, and unless such defendant shows extraordinary and compelling reasons for such failure, shall forthwith sentence him to imprisonment for not less than two days; provided, however, that such sentence shall not be reduced to less than two days, nor suspended, nor shall such person be eligible for furlough or receive any reduction from his sentence for good conduct until such person has served two days of such sentence; and provided, further, that the commissioner of correction may, on the recommendation of the warden, superintendent, or other person in charge of a correctional institution, or of the administrator of a county correctional institution, grant to an offender committed under this subdivision a temporary release in the custody of an officer of such institution for the following purposes only: to attend the funeral of a relative; to visit a critically ill relative; to obtain emergency medical or psychiatric services unavailable at said institution; or to engage in employment pursuant to a work release program. If such defendant fails to attend or complete the residential alcohol treatment program before the second date specified by the court, further proceedings pursuant to said section three of said chapter two hundred and seventy-nine shall be commenced, and the court shall forthwith sentence the defendant to imprisonment for not less than thirty days as provided in subparagraph (1) for such a defendant.

The defendant shall pay for the cost of the services provided by the residential alcohol treatment program; provided, however, that no person shall be excluded from said programs for inability to pay; and provided, further, that such person files with the court, an affidavit of indigency or inability to pay and that investigation by the probation officer confirms such indigency or establishes that payment of such fee would cause a grave and serious hardship to such individual or to the family of such individual, and that the court enters a written finding thereof. In lieu of waiver of the entire amount of said fee, the court may direct such individual to make partial or installment payments of the cost of said program.

(b) A conviction of a violation of subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) shall revoke the license or right to operate of the person so convicted unless such person has not been convicted of or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, and said person qualifies for disposition under section twenty-four D and has consented to probation as provided for in said section twenty-four D; provided, however, that no appeal, motion for new trial or exceptions shall operate to stay the revocation of the license or the right to operate. Such revoked license shall immediately be surrendered to the prosecuting officer who shall forward the same to the registrar. The court shall report immediately any revocation, under this section, of a license or right to operate to the registrar and to the police department of the municipality in which the defendant is domiciled. Notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-two, the revocation, reinstatement or issuance of a license or right to operate by reason of a violation of paragraph (a) shall be controlled by the provisions of this section and sections twenty-four D and twenty-four E.

(c) (1) Where the license or right to operate has been revoked under section twenty-four D or twenty-four E, or revoked under paragraph (b) and such person has not been convicted of a like offense or has not been assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, the registrar shall not restore the license or reinstate the right to operate to such person unless the prosecution of such person has been terminated in favor of the defendant, until one year after the date of conviction; provided, however, that such person may, after the expiration of three months from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license for employment or educational purposes, which license shall be effective for not more than an identical twelve hour period every day on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control, and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary; and provided, further, that such person may, after the expiration of six months from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such a license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary.

(2) Where the license or the right to operate of a person has been revoked under paragraph (b) and such person has been previously convicted of or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like violation preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which such person has been convicted, the registrar shall not restore the license or reinstate the right to operate of such person unless the prosecution of such person has been terminated in favor of the defendant, until two years after the date of the conviction; provided, however, that such person may, after the expiration of six months from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license for employment or education purposes, which license shall be effective for not more than an identical twelve hour period every day on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and that such person shall have successfully completed the residential treatment program in subparagraph (4) of paragraph (a) of subdivision (1), or such treatment program mandated by section twenty-four D, and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary; and provided, further, that such person may, after the expiration of one year from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such a license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary.

(3) Where the license or right to operate of any person has been revoked under paragraph (b) and such person has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program because of a like offense by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction two times preceding the date of the commission of the crime for which he has been convicted or where the license or right to operate has been revoked pursuant to section twenty-three due to a violation of said section due to a prior revocation under paragraph (b) or under section twenty-four D or twenty-four E, the registrar shall not restore the license or reinstate the right to operate to such person, unless the prosecution of such person has terminated in favor of the defendant, until eight years after the date of conviction; provided however, that such person may, after the expiration of two years from the date of the conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license for employment or education purposes, which license shall be effective for not more than an identical twelve hour period every day, on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary; and provided, further, that such person may, after the expiration of four years from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such a license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary.

(3 1/2) Where the license or the right to operate of a person has been revoked under paragraph (b) and such person has been previously convicted of or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like violation three times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which such person has been convicted, the registrar shall not restore the license or reinstate the right to operate of such person unless the prosecution of such person has been terminated in favor of the defendant, until ten years after the date of the conviction; provided, however, that such person may, after the expiration of five years from the date of the conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license for employment or education purposes which license shall be effective for an identical twelve hour period every day on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such license under such terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary; and provided, further, that such person may, after the expiration of eight years from the date of conviction, apply for and shall be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the grounds of hardship and a showing by the person that the causes of the present and past violations have been dealt with or brought under control and the registrar may, in his discretion, issue such a license under the terms and conditions as he deems appropriate and necessary.

(3 3/4) Where the license or the right to operate of a person has been revoked under paragraph (b) and such person has been previously convicted of or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth or any other jurisdiction because of a like violation four or more times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which such person has been convicted, such person’s license or right to operate a motor vehicle shall be revoked for the life of such person, and such person shall not be granted a hearing before the registrar for the purpose of requesting the issuance of a new license on a limited basis on the grounds of hardship; provided, however, that such license shall be restored or such right to operate shall be reinstated if the prosecution of such person has been terminated in favor of such person. An aggrieved party may appeal, in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A, from any order of the registrar of motor vehicles under the provisions of this section.

(4) Notwithstanding the foregoing, no new license shall be issued or right to operate be reinstated by the registrar to any person convicted of a violation of subparagraph (1) of paragraph (a) until ten years after the date of conviction in case the registrar determines upon investigation and after hearing that the action of the person so convicted in committing such offense caused an accident resulting in the death of another, nor at any time after a subsequent conviction of such an offense, whenever committed, in case the registrar determines in the manner aforesaid that the action of such person, in committing the offense of which he was so subsequently convicted, caused an accident resulting in the death of another.

(d) For the purposes of subdivision (1) of this section, a person shall be deemed to have been convicted if he pleaded guilty or nolo contendere or was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction, whether or not he was placed on probation without sentence or under a suspended sentence or the case was placed on file, and a license may be revoked under paragraph (b) hereof notwithstanding the pendency of a prosecution upon appeal or otherwise after such a conviction. Where there has been more than one conviction in the same prosecution, the date of the first conviction shall be deemed to be the date of conviction under paragraph (c) hereof.


Inside Massachusetts Drivers License Hardship Law