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Hardship Licenses in Massachusetts

A DUI conviction can bring with it several consequences, including fines and possibly even jail time (depending on the circumstances). Some may think that, if convicted, once the aforementioned penalties have been satisfied, their ordeals are over. Yet one result of a DUI convinction can continue to hinder drivers long after their offenses: license suspension. According to Section 24(3) of Massachusett's General Laws, one who has had his or her license suspended due to driving under the influence cannot have it reinstated for one year. During that time, however, he or she may still need to travel around Boston to attend work, school and other important appointments. How is he or she to do that without a license? 

The Masschusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles allows for drivers who have been convicted of DUI to apply for a hardship license. Such a license allows one to operate a motor vehicle during a set 12-hour period (it is due to these time restrictions that many refer to this privilege as a "Cinderalla license"). Those working through their first conviction must first serve three months of their year-long license suspension in order to qualify. For those seeking hardship licenses after a second of third DUI offense, the waiting period is one and two years, respectively. During that time, repeat offenders must also complete a 14-day inpatient treatment program.

An actual hardship must be proven in order to qualify for a temporary license. For example, if not having a license significantly hinders one's ability to get to school or work, he or she may present those facts to the court (a recent letter from an employer is required to confirm the hardship). One must also provide information regarding the local availability of public transportion options before being considered for a hardship license.  

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