Part 10: COVID-19, DUI license & Hardship
Drunk driving cases can affect your license in many different ways. If it is your first offense and you have been deemed to refuse a breathalyzer, the RMV will suspend your license for 180 days. If you failed the breathalyzer your license is suspended for 30 days. This happens prior to you going to court and without a court order.
The COVID-19 crisis has many businesses adjusting to allowing employees to work from home. This makes having a license for many people less important than it usually is. However, this is not the situation for other people. Essential personnel still need to get to work.
With the courts being closed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, this is the worst time to get an OUI. Like we said earlier, if you failed or refused a breathalyzer your license is suspended by the RMV. To make matters worse, you are not eligible for a hardship license until your criminal case is resolved. If you failed a breathalyzer you will have to wait 30 days to get your license back, a month may be difficult, but for many, bearable. However, if you refused a breathalyzer, you will have to wait 6 months before getting your license back. For most people 6 months without a license is impossible.
Many people being arrested for DUI cases are being released and given a date in the future to go to the arraignment in court. Most if not all the people who are arrested are being arraigned over the phone and then being released. The SJC has issued an order to try to release detained individuals. Not everyone is being released, but with the new rules a lot of DUI defendants should be.
The problem remains, you cannot drive any sooner unless you go to court, and right now you can't go to court until the earliest May 4, 2020. You are not eligible for a hardship license until your case is resolved. There is never a good time to get a DUI, but this can be the worst time if you have to drive to work.