In Massachusetts, the penalties for driving while under the influence of alcohol can vary depending on a variety of factors. Criminal penalties associated with DUIs/OUIs (Operating Under the Influence) are set forth in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, Sections 24 and 24D. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs), the following factors may be taken into account in determining your penalty:
- Whether this is a first, second, third or other offense for you;
- Whether you were traveling with a child under the age of 14;
- Whether you injured or killed anyone while driving under the influence of alcohol (or other drugs); and
- Whether you take a plea deal.
First Offense DUI Penalties
The State of Massachusetts does not take DUIs lightly. If you are convicted of a first DUI/OUI offense you may face:
- A $500-$5,000 fine;
- Up to 2 ½ years in prison; and
- Drivers’ license suspension up to 1 year
Second Offense DUI Penalties
As you can imagine, penalties for a second DUI/OUI offense can be more severe. Under Massachusetts law, second offense penalties include:
- A $600-$10,000 fine;
- Up to 2 ½ years in prison; and
- Drivers’ License suspension for 2 years
A judge may also require you to obtain and install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, at your expense.
Third Offense DUI Penalties
- A $1,000-$15,000 fine;
- Between 150 days to 5 years in prison; and
- Drivers’ License suspension for 8 years.
If not already ordered, a judge may require an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
Offenses after your third offense carry increased fees and jail time, and you risk losing your driver’s’ license for life.
DUIs, Accidents and Child Endangerment
If you were arrested for a DUI/OUI while driving with a child under the age of 14, you will also be charged with Child Endangerment, which carries its own set of penalties, including:
- A $1,000-$5,000 fine;
- Between 90 days and 2 ½ years in prison; and
- Drivers’ License suspension for 1 year
If you were involved in an accident causing serious bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or permanent disability, the penalties are much higher. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24L provides for the following penalties in this situation:
- 2 ½ – 10 years in state prison; and
- Drivers’ license suspension for 2 years
If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving and killed another person, the following penalties may apply:
- Between 2 ½ years and 15 years in prison; and
- Drivers’ License suspension for 15 years
In certain circumstances, alternative penalties may be available. Before you talk to anyone or accept any plea deal, it’s important to know your rights. Speaking with an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney can make all the difference.
Competent Criminal Defense Counsel Can Help
Whether you’ve been accused or arrested on DUI/OUI charges, you need an attorney who is capable of aggressively defending your rights, regardless of your circumstance. The criminal defense attorneys at Keegan Law are available 24/7 to review the facts of your case and recommend to you a course of action. Contact us online or call (617) 799-7644 to schedule your free case evaluation.