Drunk driving charges can change a person’s life in many ways. A conviction will not only leave them with a criminal record, it can also limit other opportunities as well. Many people are concerned about whether a drunk driving conviction will lead them to lose their license. What should drivers know about license suspensions after a drunk driving charge?
Am I going to lose my license?
Even before you go to court, a drunk driving charge can result in a suspended license. A failed breath test will automatically lead to a 30-day suspension, and those who refuse a breath test will lose their license for 6 months.
In addition, drivers may experience longer license suspensions as a penalty for conviction. First-time offenders will experience a suspension of 180 days. Drivers with prior convictions face even longer suspensions, with second offenses leading to a three-year suspension, third offenses leading to a five-year suspension and fourth offenses leading to a lifetime suspension.
Can you get your license back?
Even before the suspension period has ended, drivers may be able to apply for a hardship license to reinstate their driving privileges so that they can travel for work, education or other necessary tasks. Depending on your criminal record and the length of the suspension, you may have to meet a variety of criteria to apply. These criteria can include a waiting period, enrollment in a treatment program, documentation of your hardship and installation of an ignition interlock device. You must also attend a hearing about your license.
While drivers may face the challenges of a license suspension after a drunk driving charge, they can still take steps to defend themselves from these charges or to regain their ability to drive on Massachusetts roadways.