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Natick Drunk Driving Law Blog

School allows man to be reinstated following DUI charge

When people make the mistake of choosing to get behind the wheel and drive in Massachusetts after they have had a few drinks, the consequences that follow may seem next to impossible to overcome. However, with a commitment to change and a willingness to humbly own up to the consequences they have been required to pay, people can alter the course of their life and continue to find satisfaction despite their mistakes. 

For one man in Seymour, Indiana, this is exactly what is happening following his arrest for a DUI charge last year. The man who was a principal at the local Seymour High School at the time of his arrest has recently been reinstated to his previous position. Following a board meeting involving other members of the educational system and the support of many of the man's students and their parents, it was decided that the man would be fully reinstated. 

Working toward having your license reinstated after revocation

If you have been charged with some type of vehicular crime in Massachusetts, one of the consequences you could be facing is having your license revoked until further notice. The repercussions of this consequence could leave you needing to be creative with finding transportation to get to where you need to go. At David B. Zirlen, we will do our best to defend those who are facing legal consequences because of criminal behavior. 

Getting your license reinstated as soon as possible is probably your primary goal. This could, however, take you some time especially if the reason your license was revoked was a more serious one. According to Mass.gov, you will need to pay a reinstatement fee as part of the process for getting your license back. The amount you will be required to pay will vary depending on the offense you committed that got your license taken away in the first place. The status of your license will need to be in good standing before you will be approved to apply for reinstatement. Checking the status of your license is something you can see online. 

How do you get a license back?

While every case in Massachusetts is different, there could be a way for you to get your license back if it has been suspended. You may also have other options if you are earlier on in the OUI process.

Generally speaking, it would be wise to take a full account of all of your options before you pursue any action with any official office or with the courts. Taking one route could potentially make it difficult for you to pursue other ways of reducing the consequences of an OUI arrest. With that in mind, here is a brief discussion of how you might get your license back in Massachusetts.

Different ways a DUI case can affect relationships

After they are pulled over for driving drunk, many people immediately think about the penalties associated with drunk driving charges. From losing the ability to drive for a period of time to facing steep financial penalties, career damage and even spending time behind bars, drunk driving can carry serious consequences. However, there are many other reasons why these allegations can be so disruptive in one’s life. For example, DUI charges can have a negative impact on someone’s relationships, whether they experience marital problems, lose friends or run into challenges involving their parents or other relatives.

If you are facing drunk driving charges, your spouse may become very upset. Not only can a DUI case place strain on a marital relationship due to legal hurdles, but a spouse may be angry with their partner for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, and this may even lead to the breakdown of a marriage. Moreover, those who live with their parents (such as teens and young adults) may have an especially hard time dealing with these charges because their parents become very upset.

DUI charges and custody rights

The consequences of being pulled over for drunk driving can impact someone’s life in so many ways. Beyond the financial penalties, the loss of driving privileges and potentially spending time in prison, this can be a very disruptive situation when it comes to one’s family. Not only can DUI charges lead to the breakdown of a relationship and family drama, but they can also make it more difficult for a parent to pursue child custody while going through a divorce. It is especially important for parents to avoid DUI charges, but for some, it is already too late. Likewise, parents should be particularly careful when approaching their drunk driving case.

When a marriage falls apart, those with children may face numerous legal matters related to their kids. However, custody disputes can be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce, resulting in strong emotions and serious concerns about how the outcome of the case will impact a parent’s relationship with his or her child and the child’s future. If a parent has been charged with DUI, especially while a custody dispute was underway, this could make it more difficult for them to seek custody. Courts consider all sorts of factors when determining which outcome would be in the best interests of the child and recent drunk driving charges may lead them to conclude that the other parent is more fit to raise the child.

Depression, excessive drinking and drunk driving

There are a number of reasons why people get behind the wheel when they are over the legal limit. In some cases, people may not realize that their blood alcohol content level has surpassed the legal limit because they did not think they drank very much (this can be especially tricky when it comes to mixed drinks at a party, for example). In other instances, a driver may feel sober and think that enough time has passed to allow their system to remove alcohol when they are still considered drunk. Moreover, some people may be more likely to drive drunk when they are struggling with depression and other emotional hurdles.

People become depressed for many reasons, whether they recently discovered that their job was being terminated or their spouse decided to file for a divorce. Unfortunately, some people turn to alcohol, and this can lead to additional issues (such as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated) which can make life even harder. Someone who is pulled over for drunk driving may face even greater emotional problems and their life may be disrupted in all sorts of ways, whether they lose their driving privileges or even have to spend time behind bars.

Spring break and drunk driving charges

People are pulled over for driving under the influence at all times of the year, but DUI charges may be especially likely on certain occasions. For example, spring break can lead to more people getting behind the wheel while they are over the legal limit, and those who were recently charged with DUI over spring break may be very worried about how these charges will affect their future. From problems related to one’s career to difficulties that arise regarding college (which is especially notable since many college students participate in spring break parties that involve alcohol), it is crucial to handle these charges correctly.

Sometimes, people are charged with drunk driving even though they did not know that they were over the legal limit. Moreover, some people may even be charged with DUI even though their blood alcohol content level was below the legal limit. For example, a breathalyzer test may not be conducted properly. Unfortunately, some people are unaware of their rights and fail to take action in such instances, which can result in a multitude of hardships that will follow them throughout their lives.

The consequences of underage DUI charges

Drunk driving cases can bring a number of penalties and may disrupt life in different ways. For some people, such as those facing underage DUI charges, this is especially true. For example, a young person who has been charged with driving drunk may face challenges related to their ability to attend college, their career and their personal relationships. Of course, financial penalties, the loss of driving privileges and even time behind bars may also make life tough. If you were recently charged with underage drunk driving, or you have a child who is going through this, be sure to explore all legal options.

Underage drunk driving can be especially complicated for a handful of reasons. For example, zero tolerance laws can mean that a young person who has a very small amount of alcohol in their system may still be charged with driving under the influence even though they were not intoxicated to any extent when they were pulled over. Moreover, there are numerous pressures that young people face, such as negative influences from the media and classmates, as well as unfamiliarity with drunk driving laws and figuring out how to address charges when they surface.

Could I lose the right to drink?

If you live in Massachusetts, it is reasonable to conclude that driving while under the influence may lead to a suspended license. If someone is injured or there is damage to property during this time, the chances of losing your license climbs even higher. But, what about the right to drink?

According to one CNN article, alcohol is the thread that binds assaults, accidents and death together. While many people drink socially and pose no threat to society, the connection between excessive drinking and dangerous behavior is often clear. When it comes to operating under the influence, a driver may not even need to be heavily drunk to pose a public safety threat.

Is a road test all that is required before license reinstatement?

Immediately after you have received notification that you are eligible to request that your license is reinstated in Massachusetts, your attention to detail will be crucial in making sure that you have your driving privileges given back as soon as possible. Contrary to what you may have heard from other people, a driving test may not be the only requirement in your effort to have your license reinstated. 

Depending on the offense that you committed that resulted in your license's revocation in the first place, the courts may require you to complete a series of tasks before your eligibility is verified and your license is given back. According to mass.gov, some of the educational courses that you may be required to participate in could include the following:

  • State Courts Against Road Rage (SCARR): This program will instruct you about the dangers and risks of responding angrily to other drivers and teach you coping mechanisms and healthy ways to respond when other drivers have bothered you. 
  • Drug or Alcohol Counseling: These types of rehabilitation programs may enable you to understand the negative effects of consuming drugs and alcohol and how your consumption could dangerously affect your ability to make responsible decisions while driving. 
  • National Safety Council (NSC)/Massachusetts driver retraining program: Your participation in this well-rounded educational program can provide helpful tips for driving, as well as give valuable refreshers on general driving practices, their importance and the consequences if you do not adhere to them.