Home COMMONWEALTH vs. DUANE A. THORPE.

13 Mass. App. Ct. 906

January 6, 1982

The defendant appeals from his conviction of a violation of G. L. c. 90, Section 26, and claims that the judge erred in denying his motion to dismiss the complaint. The motion to dismiss was based on a contention that the language in G. L. c. 90, Section 26 (as amended through St. 1965, c. 664), that "[t]he registrar may revoke or suspend the license of any person violating

Page 907

any provision of this section" is "punishment," thereby rendering inapplicable G. L. c. 90, Section 20 (as appearing in St. 1975, c. 494, Section 12), which provides, in part, "[a] person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter the punishment for which is not otherwise provided . . . shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five dollars." The suspension or revocation of a license is not "punishment" for the purposes of G. L. c. 90, Section 20, because such suspension or revocation is considered an administrative sanction and not a criminal penalty. Boyle v. Registrar of Motor Vehicles, 368 Mass. 141 , 142-143 (1975). See also State v. Cowen, 231 Iowa 1117, 1119-1123 (1942). Because G. L. c. 90, Section 26, is a criminal statute, the District Court has jurisdiction under G. L. c. 218, Section 26, to hear such violation.

Judgment affirmed.