When you have been convicted of a DUI in the state of Massachusetts, there are several things that you will need to do according to your sentence. Fines and fees are a big consequence of getting a DUI, but Massachusetts is willing to work with convicted drivers to make them learn from their mistakes and lessen the financial burden that a DUI can cause.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90-24D
The Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90-24D provides the option attending a specific program, the Driver Alcohol Education Program (DAEP), instead of facing large fines, excessive license suspension, and potential jail time. DAEP helps to instill good habits to prevent the possibility of drinking and driving in the future. Those who choose the DAEP option but violate program requirements will no longer be qualified for the 24D option. Instead, their license suspension will be immediately reinstated. Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Divisions of Alcoholism and Drug Rehabilitation compiled a list of approved DAEPs that driver’s can choose from.
Qualifying for the program
First offenders and those who have been convicted of a DUI more than 10 years ago have the opportunity to qualify for the 24D Alcohol Education agreement. In Massachusetts, a first offense is not considered a criminal offense. Ultimately, getting into a 24D agreement is the prosecutor’s and judge’s decision.
The program has many different aspects to it that are helpful to those who have been convicted of a DUI and are on a journey to recovery. It starts with an intake assessment, which helps those who are monitoring to establish a feel for who the person is, and what situation brought them to this program.
The program is community and group focused. The convicted driver will be required to complete 32 hours of group therapy over the course of 16 weeks, but they will also be exposed to two community self-help group meetings, and will attend an impact presentation with a speakers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
After all of the requirements are met, the driver must complete an exit interview. It’s recommended to continue with other treatment options, but at this point in the process, it is the driver’s choice, and DAEP will provide additional resources if desired.
The cost of the program
DAEP is one of the less expensive parts of a DUI and can significantly lower the fines you will end up paying. The program costs between. $500-$1000, with a chunk of the money due at the time of the initial intake assessment. They do allow for payment plans, making the cost more bearable. However, when you are a part of the program, you can apply for a hardship license after just 3 days, instead of waiting several months for hardship eligibility.
Approved 24D programs
Since the Massachusetts Department of Health must approve of the specific program to qualify for the 24D decision, here is a list of programs that the Department of Health believes to be quality 32 to 40-hour programs.