When you’re convicted of drunk driving in Massachusetts, your driver’s license will be suspended. The amount of time you’ll have to deal with this depends on how many prior convictions you have. It is imperative that you plan for this ahead of time because not having your license can cause a big hardship on you.

Here’s how long you can expect to have a license suspension upon conviction:

  • First conviction: One year
  • Second conviction: Two years
  • Third conviction: Eight years
  • Fourth conviction: 10 years
  • Fifth conviction: Permanent

On the first conviction you can go through the court-assigned alcohol education program to get your license back. It may shorten the suspension time, but it must be completed prior to your license being reissued.

On convictions two to four, you will have to pass the exam and road test to receive your driver’s license. You will also need to use an ignition interlock when you get your license back.

There are some impaired driving situations that dictate a longer license suspension. For example, if you have a minor under the age of 14 years old in the vehicle, you an expect a longer suspension.

Some individuals who are convicted of drunk driving might qualify for a hardship license. This comes with specific restrictions on when and where you can drive, but it allows you to drive to and from work and in a few other situations. The Registry of Motor Vehicles has strict criteria for approving these so you should look into the possibility if you’re interested.

The license suspension is only part of what you’ll deal with because of a drunk driving conviction. Be sure you think about all the impacts as you plan your defense against this charge.