Legislature Scrambles to Close Melanie’s Law Loophole

As predicted here on May 18, 2012, the Massachusetts Legislature is moving quickly to close the loophole identified in 2005 omnibus statute known as “Melanie’s Law” by the state Supreme Judicial Court’s recent, which narrowed the definition of repeat offenders currently applied by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in breathalyzer test refusals.  On May 17, 2012, the SJC ruled that offenders who, in prior cases, had admitted sufficient facts, or had been received alcohol program assignment, or a continuance without a finding (CWOF) could not be considered as having been “previously convicted” of drunk driving as that term is applied by the RMV in determining offender status because the statute didn’t include such offenders.  Now the Legislature is moving quickly to include such offenders in its definition of “convicted”.  On Wednesday, May 23, 2011, the State Senate voted unanimously to adopt an amendment designed to close the suspension loophole to expand the suspension statute to include prior admissions, CWOF’s and alcohol program assignees as de facto prior convictions.  

Look for the House of Representatives to quickly follow suit.

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