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In Massachusetts, a person who is charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Liquor (OUI), may be allowed to have the charge disposed pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24D. Under this 24D disposition, the case can be continued without a finding (CWOF), the individual will be placed on supervised probation for at least one year, the individual will attend and complete an approved Alcohol Education Program, and the individual will have his Massachusetts’s driver’s license suspended for 45 days. An individual who enters the 24D disposition will generally be eligible for a hardship license from the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

The first requirement of a 24D disposition, is that the individual enroll in a 24D program, also known as an Alcohol Education Program. This is a sixteen-week program that consists of one two-hour evening per week. The individual will partake in an intake interview, two mandatory alcohol anonymous (AA) meetings, one Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Forum, and an exit interview. The cost of the program is generally less than $800.

The individual will also be placed on supervised probation for at least one year. The individual will report monthly to a probation officer, pay a monthly probation fee, and comply with terms and conditions set out by the court and probation. If the individual fails to meet the terms and conditions of probation, the individual will be brought back into court for a probation violation hearing. The consequences of such a hearing are discussed here.

The individual will also lose their right to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts for a minimum of 45 days. This is substantially lower than the mandatory one-year loss of license that would occur with a guilty verdict. This 45-day suspension period does not include the 30-day suspension period that an individual would face for a failed chemical breathalyzer test. Massachusetts first time OUI offenders are generally eligible to be considered for a hardship license immediately after being enrolled in a 24D approved program. If the individual receives a hardship license from the RMV but then fails to complete the 24D program, the hardship license will be immediately revoked. Additionally, the Massachusetts RMV can only issue hardship licenses to Massachusetts license holders. Therefore, if an out of state offender enters the 24D disposition, he likely will be unable to operate a motor vehicle within the Commonwealth for the full 45-day suspension period.

Lake Shore Legal

If you have been charged with operating under the influence contact one of our attorneys immediately. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your legal options. There are many cases in which an OUI charge can be disposed of through a trial and a not guilty verdict. However, first time offenders also have the opportunity to enter into the 24D disposition as an alternative to a possible guilty finding.

The 24D disposition is only available to those individuals who have no prior OUI convictions or who have an OUI conviction that is more than ten years old. While accepting a 24D disposition is not considered a criminal conviction it is considered as a countable OUI charge by both the Commonwealth and RMV. Therefore, while your criminal record will not show a guilty finding, both the Commonwealth and RMV will consider any subsequent OUI charge to be a second offense.

Operating under the influence can have far reaching consequences. Contact Lake Shore Legal today and allow one of our attorneys to discuss the facts of your particular case with you. (508) 943-7800;  

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