Cape Cod DUI Attorneys

License suspensions for OUI aren't easy.

Learn what it takes to get your license back and return to your life.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with an OUI, your driver’s license has likely been suspended by the RMV. You may have a lot of questions. How long will I be without a license? Is there any way to reduce that time? What about my commute? How do I get it back?

It’s not easy to get around the Cape without driving. The lack of flexibility is a real hassle for most people. You may need your car to get to work, buy groceries, take care of your kids, report to the court-assigned alcohol education program, and more. The challenges and impact this can have on your life are not lost on us.

If you’ve lost your license and have interest in appealing the decision or obtaining a Hardship License, contact Cape Cod OUI Attorneys Milligan and Higgins to find out what it will take to get back on the road.

Our firm practices 100% DUI defense. Our experience in both defending and prosecuting Massachusetts OUI cases gives us the advantage.

Call or Text Now For A Free Case Evaluation 24/7
(617) 851-7155

Boston Office
867 Boylston Street
Suite 500
Boston MA 02116

Southshore Office
269 Hanover Street
Building One,
Hanover, MA 02339

Our approach to any OUI-related licensing issues in the Cape will depend on the facts of your case and your particular situation. Consult with an experienced Cape Cod OUI attorney to learn what it will take to get your license back in your hands.

License Suspensions: After the Arrest

There are two stages of an OUI case at which you may experience a license suspension: a breath test-related suspension immediately after the initial arrest, and a second suspension after a criminal OUI case that ends in a conviction (or a plea to sufficient facts and a Continuance Without a Finding). Breath test suspensions are imposed by the RMV and have no connection to the outcome of the case. The second, unrelated suspension would be court-imposed as a part of sentencing.

Implied Consent & the Breath Test

By driving a car in Massachusetts, the law states that you have automatically implied your consent to a chemical analysis of your breath or blood when you are stopped on suspicion of DUI/OUI. If you take the test and fail (with a BAC reading of 0.08% of higher for drivers over 21), you will be arrested and charged with OUI. You’ll also automatically lose your license for 30 days.

However, a Cape Cod police officer cannot force you to submit to these tests and it is not a crime to refuse or decline to take the test. There are still certain consequences to refusing. First, refusal will get you arrested and charged with OUI. The law also allows for the Registry of Motor Vehicles to essentially punish you with an administrative license suspension for refusing the test. This suspension is entirely separate and apart from any court-imposed suspension that might come at the conclusion of your criminal case, and it will be longer than the 30-day automatic RMV suspension for failing the test.

It can still be beneficial in the long run to refuse the test and accept this suspension, as you’ll be denying the state potential evidence that could be used to convict you in court.

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Breathalyzer Refusal Suspensions

• Driver over 21 with BAC 0.08% or greater:
  30 days
• Driver is 18, 19, or 20, with BAC 0.02% orgreater:
  30 days + 180 days
• Driver is under 18 with BAC 0.02% or greater:
  30 days + 1 year

You have the right to appeal a breath test failure suspension before the district court in the Cape where DUI charges are pending. It cannot be appealed at the RMV.

Breathalyzer Refusal Suspensions

• First Offense: 180 days
• First Offense (Driver Under 21): 3 years
• Second Offense: 3 years
• Third Offense: 5 years
• Fourth Offense: Lifetime

Refusal suspensions can be appealed at the RMV within 15 days of the arrest. It’s critical to get immediate legal help from a Cape Cod attorney in preparing for your appeal hearing.

Appealing a Refusal Suspension

Appeals are time-sensitive. Within 15 days of the license suspension, you’re entitled to a “Chemical Test Refusal” (CTR) hearing with the RMV to petition for the restoration of your driving privileges. The hearing is a chance to petition for the reversal of the suspension by providing a reason to believe the suspension is invalid. This is hard to do, but it could be possible if, for example, there was a failure to file forms correctly (or at all) pursuant to the arrest.

If the appeal is denied, you’ll need to serve the suspension. You won’t be eligible to obtain a “hardship license” during breathalyzer suspensions—you either earn OUI / DUI license reinstatement on appeal to the RMV or do not. Once the administrative suspension expires (likely before the trial has concluded for a first DUI), the RMV will restore your license for a reinstatement fee.

Note that these appeals are rarely successful, but the hearing has no impact on the criminal case if it is unsuccessful.

The CTR Hearing

At a CTR hearing, you are limited to challenging the following three issues:
1. Did the police officer have reasonable grounds to believe you were operating under the influence?
2. Were you placed under arrest?
3. Did you in fact refuse the Breathalyzer Test?

Once the Hearings Officer has obtained all the documents/evidence and the record of the hearing is closed, he/she will render a decision either allowing your appeal or denying it. These appeals can be very difficult to win given the limited grounds you can base them upon and the low burden of proof required for the RMV.

If your appeal is denied, you have a right to petition the court where your criminal case is pending for a review of the RMV Hearings Officer’s decision. If you wish to exercise your right to this appeal process, it must be done within 15 days of your arrest.

License Suspensions: After Conviction (or CWOF)

If you are either convicted of OUI or achieve a Continuance Without a Finding by admitting to sufficient facts, you will receive a court-imposed license suspension during sentencing with a duration tied to the number of OUI offenses on your record.

First offenders and second offenders may have the opportunity to be sentenced under alternative guidelines in section 24D of Mass general laws, which reduces the suspension to only 45-90 days but requires participation in an alcohol education program and other terms of probation.

• 24D First Offender Program: 45-90 days
• First OUI Conviction: 1 year
• Second OUI Conviction: 2 years
• Third OUI Conviction: 8 years
• Fourth OUI Conviction: 10 years
• Fifth OUI Conviction: Lifetime

Once convicted, these suspensions cannot be appealed and must be served. However, you may have the opportunity to petition your court in the Cape for a Hardship License after a certain portion of the suspension has been served.

Submit A Free Case Evaluation or call (508) 217-4450 at any time of day or night to discuss your situation with our firm for free.

License Reinstatement

Getting your driver’s license back after a DUI suspension can be a long and tiring process. As always, your first step should be to contact a Cape Cod DUI attorney who can help you navigate the flood of DUI license reinstatement paperwork, information, and legal jargon that you’ll be faced with.

After a Favorable Finding in Court

If your case ends with a CWOF, you will be able to request license reinstatement after a 45-90 day suspension and any breathalyzer-related suspensions. If your case ends in a “Not Guilty” verdict, then the only OUI or DUI license suspension you will have to deal with will be a result of either failing or refusing the breathalyzer test. It’s possible for the case to be resolved before your breathalyzer suspension has concluded, but this is rare on a first offense because the duration is much shorter (30 or 180 days).

In the event of a “Not Guilty” verdict, your attorney will have the ability to file a motion for OUI / DUI license reinstatement. The judge can return your full-time license upon signing a court order which will need to be submitted to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You’re likely to get it back unless the state can establish that you have any additional alcohol-related offenses currently open (or if there’s strong reason to believe returning your license will endanger the public).

After a Suspension

After the suspension period is over, your attorney must file a motion with the court to argue for reinstatement, and then you must file paperwork for OUI / DUI license reinstatement through the RMV. You’ll need to attend a full-service registry with a hearings officer to have your license reinstated. Ultimately, the outcome will be up to the RMV. If the RMV denies your reinstatement, you should appeal the decision to the “Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds.” The Board of Appeals has final authority to confirm, alter, or reverse RMV license suspensions.

Top-Rated OUI Defense Lawyers in Massachusetts


Attorney James Milligan is a top-rated Massachusetts OUI DWI DUI defense lawyer and over 150+ five-star reviews. He is one of just a few lawyers in Massachusetts who is board certified in drunk driving defense as recognized by the American Bar Association. Concentrating his practice entirely on Massachusetts drunk driving defense, OUI defense, DUI defense, and DWI defense, Attorney Milligan is often the best resource for other lawyers representing a client charged with drunk driving.


Joseph J. Higgins has been named a “Superb” DUI Defense Attorney by Avvo with a 10.0 client rating. Attorney Higgin’s previous experience as DUI prosecutor has given him an inside perspective on how best to represent people charged with a OUI in Massachusetts. He devotes his entire practice of law to specialized DUI/OUI Defense and has been recognized by The National College for DUI Defense for his dedication and commitment to this area of the law. Attorney Higgins has also been identified by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Massachusetts “Rising Star” in DUI/DWI Defense. This distinction is limited to only 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state.

Don't take another chance.

It’s in your best interest to find the right DUI lawyer. Your choice can mean the difference between paying a good attorney now or paying the rest of your life with a criminal record.

Call (617) 217-4450 today for a free case evaluation.

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