Mass. Drunk Driving License Suspensions

Those convicted of DUI in Massachusetts or those who admit to sufficient facts or work out plea bargains in DUI cases often falsely believe that their license suspension will be determined by the court’s treatment of the DUI conviction. This is completely incorrect. Others believe that Mass. Registry can do “whatever it wants” when it comes to DUI license suspensions. This is equally incorrect.

When it comes to imposing license suspensions triggered by OUI convictions or admissions to sufficient facts, the Registry must follow the law.  The Massachusetts drunk driving law, G.L. c. 90, § 24, requires the Registry to impose license revocations based on prior DUI convictions or alcohol program assignments regardless of how the court treated the current offense.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles is an independent agency of the Commonwealth charged with keeping records of an individual’s official driving record and history.

Based on these Registry records, the law imposes licensing consequences of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.  For example, G.L. c.90, § 24(1)(c), requires the Registrar to revoke the driver’s license or right to operate of any person who has an OUI conviction. In calculating the length of license suspensions, the Registry looks at the customer’s driving history and suspends the license based upon the prior DUI offenses listed in his or her driving history.

The Registry makes a simple numerical count of the OUI convictions or CWOFs listed in the Registry’s records and imposes a license suspension which corresponds with the number of prior offenses.

Contrary to popular belief, the Registry is not bound by a defendant’s sentencing under G.L. c.90, § 24D in applying the statutory mandates for OUI license revocations and out of state drunk driving offenses count just like those committed here.