Massachusetts Licensee

Vermont DUI Consequences on Massachusetts Licensed Drivers

Suspensions & Hearings: Out-of-State Suspensions and Revocations

Each state in the U.S. is required to notify a driver's home state through the National Driving Register if a driver has committed an offense which has caused the driver's right to operate to be suspended or revoked out-of-state. If Massachusetts receives notification that your right to operate was suspended or revoked by another state, the RMV will mail you a suspension notice, giving you 30 days to resolve the out-of-state issue.

If your Massachusetts license or right to operate has been suspended or revoked due to a suspension or revocation in another state, you must be reinstated in that state before any revocation in Massachusetts can be resolved. The pending suspension will become effective on the date specified in your suspension notice and will remain in effect until the out-of-state suspension has been cleared.

If your out-of-state suspension or revocation has been resolved, you must present either a Clearance Letter or a current driving record, not more than 30 days old, from the state of suspension to a full service RMV branch office. The pending suspension or revocation in Massachusetts must be removed manually by the RMV, even if the effective date has not been reached. If the Massachusetts suspension has taken effect, you will be required to pay a $100 reinstatement fee.

If your out-of-state offense is related to Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (including Breathalyzer Refusals & Failures) or Vehicular Homicide/Manslaughter, you must see a Hearings Officer and submit 1. A Certified Drivers History (not more than 30 days old) from the state in which the offense occurred 2. Court Abstracts providing disposition information.

Massachusetts state law requires the RMV to apply Massachusetts license suspension rules to any of these out-of-state violations. These offenses will be treated as if they occurred in the Commonwealth if the driver was licensed in Massachusetts at the time of the offense. The RMV will review your record and determine if it is similar to any existing laws in Massachusetts and apply any penalties that may be required.

Suspensions & Hearings: Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of Alcohol or Drugs

Failing a Breath Test when arrested for Operating Under the Influence:

If you are arrested for Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, you will be asked to consent to a Breathalyzer test to determine your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). If you are 21 years or older and register a BAC of .08 or greater, or if you are under 21 and register a BAC or .02 or greater, your license or right to operate will be suspended for 30 days.

Also, if you are between the ages of 18 and 21, you will be required to participate in a Youth Alcohol Program (YAP) and serve an additional 180 day suspension. There are enhanced penalties if you are under 18 and you are arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol. You will be required to serve an additional one year suspension and attend the YAP program.

Chemical Test Refusal when arrested for Operating Under the Influence:

On October 28, 2005, Melanie's Law was implemented. This greatly increased the penalties for Chemical Test Refusals. Melanie's Law also mandates that any penalties for OUI be served after the Chemical Test Refusal and/or Youth Alcohol Program (YAP) suspension has been served. Suspensions for both Breath Test Failures and Refusals start immediately on the offense date. There is no longer a 15 day grace period.

Chemical Test Refusal Penalties:

Age of Driver Number of Prior OUIs Suspension Period
21+ None 180 days
One Three years
Two Five years
Three or more Lifetime
Under 21 None Three years
One Three years
Two Five years
Three or more Lifetime
Any Prior DWI Serious Bodily Injury Ten years
Prior Vehicular Homicide Lifetime

You are entitled to a Registry hearing for a Chemical Test Refusal (CTR), but you must appear within 15 days of the CTR. These hearings are only conducted at the Boston branch office. There are only three issues that can be challenged during the hearing:

  1. The police officer did not have reasonable grounds for the OUI arrest.
  2. You were not placed under arrest.
  3. You did not refuse the Breathalyzer.

If any of these can be effectively proven, the suspension will be rescinded.

Convictions of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs / Alcohol Program Assignments

Effective November 28, 2002, Massachusetts enacted the Lifetime Look-Back Law. For the purpose of calculating OUI, Vehicular Homicide, and Chemical Test Refusal revocation periods, the RMV must consider your entire history. All OUIs and Alcohol Program assignments, including out-of-state convictions, no matter how old, will count when determining the number of incidents and the associated periods of revocation/suspension.

Description Age of Driver 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense 4th Offense 5th Offense
90 24D Alcohol / Drug Program 21+

Under 21

45-90 days

210 days

OUI Drugs Any One year Two years Eight years Ten years Lifetime
OUI Liquor Any One year Two years Eight years Ten years Lifetime
(Out of State) OUI Alcohol / Drugs Any One year Two years Eight years Ten years Lifetime

Since the implementation of Melanie's Law in October 2005, if you receive a second or subsequent Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs conviction or Alcohol or Drug Program assignment, you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in any vehicle that you drive when your license is reinstated or if you are granted a hardship license. The IID must remain installed for two years after the full reinstatement of your license. If you are granted a hardship license, the IID must be installed throughout your hardship license period, and then for two years after full reinstatement.

The penalty for a first offense of Vehicular Homicide is now 15 years. In addition, Manslaughter while Under the Influence carries the same penalties as Vehicular Homicide. A first conviction of Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol With a Child 14 Years of Age or Younger in the Vehicle results in a loss of your right to operate for one year. A second or subsequent conviction will result in a loss of your right to operate for three years. This revocation period will begin at the end of the OUI revocation period.