The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires certain alcohol programs based on the hardship license applicant’s DUI history. The Registry’s Massachusetts alcohol program requirements are independent of whatever the judge, probation, or the court may require. Hardship license applicants who are unsuccessful at the Registry can apply a hardship license by going to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.
First offenders are required to complete the G.L. c. 90 § 24D ‘first offender’ program. This is a 40 hour, 16 week program which is offered in convenient locations throughout Massachusetts.
Second offenders are required to attend and complete the 14 day DUIL program which is offered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The program is offered in Springfield and Tewksbury, MA. This program is a residential in-patient program, where participants are required to remain at the facility during the entire 14 day period. The in-patient component is followed by 26 weeks of mandatory aftercare which includes out-patient counseling and attendance at AA or other self-help meetings. After completion of the after-care component of the program, the participant is evaluated by a license drug and alcohol counselor and a discharge summary is provided. In order to get a hardship license, it is important to get classified as having a low risk of recidivism.
Those convicted of a third offense DUI in Massachusetts will be expected to complete an approved ninety (90) day locked in-patient alcohol program, along with all required aftercare components which will include individual counseling and mandatory AA attendance.
The length and intensity of each Massachusetts alcohol program increases as the number of prior drunk driving convictions increases. This system of escalating penalties is based on the theory that the number of DUI arrests indicates the seriousness of the individual’s alcohol program. Of course, all repeat offenders will be required to use the ignition interlock device.