This scenario happens a lot. The question is should an OUI defendant reinstate his license while the OUI defendant’s case is still pending in Massachusetts’ court? This is the typical situation. An OUI defendant takes the breathalyzer and tests .08 or above. The OUI defendant’s license is suspended for 30 days. The OUI defendant has no criminal record. The 30 days is up and the OUI defendant needs to get to work, but the OUI case is still pending. Should the OUI defendant reinstate his or her license? (picture of driver licenses taken by Aaron Anderer)
The question really depends on how important the license is to the OUI defendant. Under this scenario, Massachusetts OUI laws allow the OUI defendant to reinstate his or her license while the OUI case is pending. The cost to reinstate the license is around $500. The OUI defendant will usually get a letter from the registry to notify him or her about their eligibility to reinstate their license. If the OUI defendant decides to reinstate the license while the OUI case is pending, the OUI defendant can drive.
If the OUI defendant is able to get the OUI case dismissed which is highly unlikely or wins his case at trial then the OUI defendant can continue to drive after the reinstatement. The problem occurs in the situation where the OUI defendant either pleads to the OUI or is found guilty of OUI. If the OUI defendant is convicted of an OUI offense then his or her license will be suspended for a minimum of 45 days for a first offense OUI.
This means that if the OUI defendant decides to reinstate his or her license after 30 days for failing a breathalyzer he can drive unless the OUI defendant is convicted of an OUI. If the OUI defendant is convicted of an OUI then the OUI defendant will have to pay another reinstatement fee at the end of the 45 day suspension. Bottom line, if your license means that much to you and you don’t mind potentially paying two reinstatement fees then reinstate your license after 30 days for failing the breathalyzer. If you do mind paying two reinstatement fees then I would wait until your OUI case is resolved to reinstate your license.