DUI Defense AttorneyDriving under the influence or operating under the influence (OUI), is a very serious crime in Massachusetts. Not only will you face penalties from the courts, but you will have equally harsh penalties from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. From the steep fines to loss of your driving privileges, the stakes are high.

OUI Laws Defined

Blood alcohol content (BAC) is used to determine if a person is over the legal limit. The following BAC limits are used as qualifiers to determine whether a person is guilty of an OUI offense.

  • 0.08% or more applies to drivers 21 years or older
  • 0.04% or more applies to drivers operating commercial vehicles
  • 0.02% or more applies to drivers ages 21 or younger

Massachusetts also employs additional alcohol and drug-related laws that go beyond the OUI rules. These are outlined specifically in the MA Driver’s Manual and include:

  • Open Container Laws – It is strictly prohibited for anyone to operate a vehicle with an open container of alcohol – even if the container is held by a passenger in the backseat. Driving with an empty liquor bottle in the back of the vehicle is a violation of this law and fines for this violation carry a fine of $100 to $500.
  • Medications and Drugs – If a driver is pulled over and prescription or illegal medications have impacted that person’s ability to drive; they could face an OUI conviction.

The Penalties for Multiple Offenders

The first OUI offense still carries harsh penalties – including license suspensions, reinstatement fees, fines and jail time of up to 2.5 years. But, if a driver continues to operate a vehicle under the influence, the penalties continue to enhance. Massachusetts practices a lookback period of a lifetime, which means OUI offenses never expire and a person can be charged with a second offense or third offense even if the first was 20 years ago.

Each offense carries administrative and criminal penalties that can severely impact a person’s lifestyle – or even their ability to get a job.

Second Offense

  • Driver’s license suspension of up to two years
  • Ignition interlock device required upon license reinstatement
  • Fines from $600 to $10,000
  • Jail time from 30 days to 30 months

Third Offense

  • License suspension of up to eight years
  • Ignition interlock device required
  • Fines from $1,000 to $15,000
  • Jail time from 150 days to 5 years

Fourth Offense

  • License suspension up to 10 years
  • Ignition interlock device required
  • Fines from $1,500 to $25,000
  • Jail time from 1 to 5 years

Fifth Offense

  • Permanent driver’s license suspension
  • Fines from $2,000 to $50,000
  • Jail time of 2 to 5 years

Refusing the Test Will Not Help Your Case

Some drivers think that if they refuse the chemical test, they may be able to avoid any second, third, or higher offenses. But, refusal to take a test means the driver is subject to fines and automatic license suspensions that include:

  • 180 day suspension for first offense
  • 3 year suspension for second offense
  • 5 year suspension for third offense

Arrested for an OUI? Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for an OUI, contact Keegan Law today. You may be able to avoid the harsh penalties associated with multiple offenses. Contact us by dialing 617-472-1653 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a consultation.