Upon receiving a DUI or OUI charge, people often ask about hardship licenses, also known as “Cinderella Licenses.” If you are facing a First Offense OUI, Multiple offense OUI, Drug Offense, or you have multiple traffic offenses, you may qualify for a hardship license. There are specific requirements that must be met for eligibility, however. You should also consult with an experienced DUI attorney to learn more about your eligibility for a hardship license and what steps you can take to receive one.
What is a Hardship License?
A hardship license is restrictive. It only allows you to drive for a set 12-hour period, usually during your work hours. They are only granted to individuals who can prove that they would suffer significant “hardship” because of the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.
In Massachusetts, hardship licenses are granted by the RMV and are only considered for the purposes of work, school, or a need to attend regular medical appointments. They are usually granted to individuals who meet strict requirements and whose livelihoods are dependent upon their ability to drive. They are not available for everyone who has a DUI or OUI charge.
You need very specific documentation to obtain a hardship license, and the required documentation depends on the charge you are facing. For example, a multiple-offense charge will require different documentation than a first-offense charge. To receive a hardship license, you usually need to be enrolled in a requisite program, such as the “24D” or First Offender Driver Alcohol Education Program.
There are other factors that may contribute to your eligibility for a hardship license. Your driving history, criminal record, age (whether or not you are under 21), your number of outstanding driving citations, and the facts of your case all play a part in the RMV’s decision-making.
To be sure you can meet every requirement for a hardship license, consult with an experienced DUI attorney.
Applying for a Hardship License
To apply for a hardship license, you need to attend a hearing at a select RMV hearing site. Even with all the right documentation, you may still be denied a hardship license. These licenses are given out only through the discretion of the RMV and based on the facts of your case.
What if I Refused a Breathalyzer Test?
Under “Melanie’s Law,” the penalty for refusing a breathalyzer test for a first offense is a 180-day suspension of one’s driving license. This suspension does not exclude one from the ability to receive a hardship license, however. Under Melanie’s law, you need to be enrolled in the 24D program and meet other prerequisites to apply for a hardship license after refusing a breathalyzer.
Where Do I Start?
If you fail to meet the requirements at the first RMV hearing, you can appeal that decision to the Board of Appeal.
To begin the process of obtaining a hardship license, you should seek the assistance of a DUI attorney if you haven’t already. The preparation of proper documentation is extremely important to your first hearing and only a DUI lawyer will know how to present such documentation properly. A DUI attorney will review your case, instruct you on each step you need to take, and ensure that all your documents are in order.