Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drunk Driving License Suspensions Clarified

In DiGREGORIO vs. REGISTRAR OF MOTOR VEHICLES, issued today, the Appeals Court ruled that when relying on an out-of-state drunk driving conviction to impose a license suspension, the suspension begins with the date of conviction, not the date the registry found out about it. G.L. c. 90, § 24 (1)(c )(3) reads in part: "the registrar shall not restore the license or reinstate the right to operate to such person, unless the prosecution of such person has terminated in favor of the defendant, until eight years after the date of conviction." According to the court, "Courts must follow unambiguous statutory language "unless 'following the Legislature's literal command would lead to an absurd result, or one contrary to the Legislature's manifest intention.'"" More information is available at