Can I get a Hardship License?
The quick and easy answer is, NO!
Typically, at the time of a Massachusetts OUI arrest the driver’s Massachusetts Driver’s License is immediately revoked through the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) because they submitted to a post arrest breath test over the legal limit of .08, or they refused the requested post arrest breath test. If you took the test, and the results were .08 or higher, the per se suspension is always for a period of ONLY thirty (30) days. You can always reinstate your license through the RMV at the end of this thirty (30) day suspension, regardless of the pending OUI charge in Court.
The chemical test refusal (CTR) suspension is graduated based on a driver’s prior record known to the RMV. Meaning, the suspension is for 180 days if there is no prior record of an OUI conviction, including a continuance without a finding (C.W.O.F.) disposition, anytime in your life, three (3) years if you have one prior, five (5) years if you have two priors, and a lifetime CTR suspension if you have three (3) priors.
Under Massachusetts Law you cannot obtain a Hardship license during any period of CTR suspension. A CTR suspension can only be vacated by a trial judge after you have been found not guilty of the underlying OUI offense.
The exception is on an OUI 1st Offense disposition or Cahill disposition. If you are sentenced by the Court on the OUI 1st Offense charge, to include probation and the alcohol education course, you can apply for a hardship license with the RMV. The Court ordered OUI First Offense suspension, typically forty-five (45) days, is added onto the 180 CTR suspension. If you are fighting the case, and plan on taking it to trial, you cannot obtain a hardship, because you have not been sentenced by the Court on the OUI charge, you are not on probation and you are not enrolled in the Alcohol Education Program, therefore you remain suspended for the CTR period.
If you are facing am OUI 2nd, 3rd offense, or 4th offense you can never get a hardship during the CTR period. Your only relief from the CTR suspension is to obtain an acquittal/not guilty verdict or outright dismissal of the OUI charge, which allows you to ask the Judge to vacate the remaining CTR. This is why it is so important to hire an attorney that will make every effort to win the OUI case at trial, so you can ask the Court to vacate the CTR suspension.
If you are convicted of an OUI subsequent charge, 2nd, or third offense, you must wait until the entire CTR suspension is over, before you can apply to the RMV or Board of Appeal for a Hardship License.