The 2nd Offender Mass. DUIL Program

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has specific criteria which must be satisfied for anyone applying for hardship license who has a 2 year 2nd offense DUI suspension. The first requirement is that the hardship license applicant must complete the DUIL program. This is an intensive residential 14 day court-ordered alcohol treatment program which is located in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. Although the program is located on the grounds of the Tewksbury State Hospital, it is not run by the Mass. Department of Mental Health. Approximately 1,200 people attend the DUIL program annually. Many people who are convicted of a 2nd offense operating under the influence charge opt to attend the alcohol program instead of having to serve a jail sentence. DUIL program attendees are subject to breathalyzer testing upon arrival and no one is admitted to the 2nd offender program with any breathalyzer reading which is positive for alcohol. Also, you may be administered a drug test and a positive drug test result will result in your rejection. A medical assessment is also conducted to insure that the program participant does not have a medical or health problem which would prevent him or her from safely attending, as no medical or detoxification treatments are provided. No cigarettes or tobacco products are allowed at this 2nd offender program.

You must get a ride to the DUIL program, as your license would have been suspended by virtue of your drunk driving conviction. If you drive yourself to the program, you will likely not be accepted and the staff will report the probation violation to your probation officer. Your vehicle will be towed at your expense and the police may be called. Also, not all potential clients are admitted, so you should have a driver standby until you are accepted.

The 2 week in-patient program consists of individual counseling and group therapy designed to serve as a foundation for aftercare and further counseling. Educational sessions, self help meetings, and aftercare planning are all important components. The 2nd offender residential DUI program is intensive and regimented. Wake up is at 6:30 AM and lights out is at 10:30 PM. Chores are assigned and movement away from the group is allowed only in 2 person teams. Cell phones or any type of wireless communication devices are not permitted. In addition to addressing alcohol issues, the program also examines other related issues such as health problems The DUIL program costs $953.26 and this must be paid prior to the issuance of the alcohol program completion certificate.

Completion if the DUIL Program in Tewksbury is usually a condition of probation for all DUI 2nd offenders and the failure to attend and complete the program may result in a probation violation, which is a serious matter which will likely result in incarceration. Fortunately, only 3 out of 100 probationers fail to compete the program. 

 Relapse prevention is the goal of the 2nd offender DUIL Program and at the end of the residential portion of the program, participants will be given a discharge summary which contains the person’s risk of “risk of recidivism” or “risk of relapse.” Since aftercare has not even been started, everyone coming out of the 14 day residential portion of the DUIL program gets a high risk of recidivism, so do not be discouraged.

After completing the DUIL program’s residential component, alcohol program attendees are referred to the 26 week aftercare portion of the 2nd offender alcohol program, which is required for hardship licensing. The DUIL program will not provide this letter until payment of all charges is made in full.

Upon completion of the aftercare program, participants will undergo an alcohol / substance abuse evaluation and they will be given a discharge summary which contains the evaluator’s impressions and a Sometimes this is expressed as a number, with one being the lowest risk of recidivism and 5 being the highest or sometimes it is simply noted as “low, medium, or high.” This information is absolutely critical when it comes to hardship licensing. Massachusetts Registry Hearings Officers and RMV Appeals Board members consider a hardship license applicant’s risk of recidivism when deciding whether the applicant’s alcohol issues have been brought under control so that returning the repeat DUI offender to roadways will not endanger the public. If your aftercare discharge is not favorable or if you were not given a low risk of recidivism, there are ways to counter this. Contact Attorney Simoneau for more information.