Registry License Decisions Still Evolving In Light of Souza Decision

The Registry has reduced license suspension penalties in some cases in light of the recent Court decision, and deferred decisions in other cases.

What exactly you can expect if you go to the Registry to get a 2nd offense license suspension reduced is simply not assured. We are as on top of this as we can be, but the unfortunately answer is that no one has the definitive answers.

Here are the facts on the situation as we know them right now, who is eligible, and who is not.

The situation is still absolutely in flux, and different RMV Hearings Officer’s may be interpreting the ruling differently. But if you are right now in the suspension period from a second (or third) offense, received a CWOF on a prior offense, and refused the breath test on the most recent charge, there is a good chance that your suspension can be reduced.

For example, if you are serving a 3 year license suspension, but under the recent ruling, it should only have been 6 months, you should be able to have that time reduced, or eliminated if you have already served the 6 months.

Can An An Interlock Interlock Requirement Be Reduced?

We believe the answer is still no. The Registry considers the ignition interlock requirement to go into effect after your license eligibility has been fully restored. This means if you get your license restored immediately, the 2 year interlock clock starts ticking now.

Or, if you served the full license suspension, and are now in the middle of your interlock requirement, you can’t retroactively get credit for what should have been the reduced suspension period and end your interlock early.


However, it is possible that this decision could be changed, or successfully appeared at a Registry Appeals hearing. But as of now, Registry hearings officers aren’t reducing IID requirements.

And if this is an option, the Registry Appeals are going to have to happen quickly, just in case the law changes, making the decisions moot.

Could the law change and make this ruling irrelevant?

It could. There is an effort in the State Legislature that they hope to change this, making the old way the Registry issued suspensions as part of the annual budget legislation on or about 7/1.



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