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Areas of Practice

Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving

REMEMBER YOUR RIGHTS:

  • You DON'T have to get out of your motor vehicle.
  • You DON'T have to do field sobriety tests.
  • You DON'T have to take a chemical breath test.
  • You have the right to remain silent!
  •  

Refusing field sobriety and/or chemical breath tests will lead to a license suspension of 180 days and may get you arrested, after which you or someone else will need to pay your bail, or face court on the next business day. The result is nearly the same if you fail the test(s). Maximum legal blood alcohol content is 0.08% for adult drivers and 0.02% for minors. Sentences for a guilty verdict for a charge of operating under the influence (OUI) can be serious, including combinations of jail time, fines, license suspensions, probation, drug and/or alcohol counseling and/or classes and/or inpatient programs, requirement to use a device which measures your alcohol consumption and locks the ignition if it is above a certain level (ignition interlock device, or IID), and increases in your insurances rates. The length of jail time, amount of fines, and seriousness of substance abuse recovery programs increase with each offense.

Penalties for successive OUI convictions:

Offense

License Suspension

Fine

Alcohol Education Programs

Probation

Jail Time

Ignition Interlock Device

1st

Up to one year

Up to $5,000

Possible classes

Possible

Up to 2½ years

No

2nd

Up to two years

Up to $10,000

Possible classes and/or inpatient program

Possible

30-day minimum, 2½-year maximum

Yes

3rd

Up to eight years

Up to $15,000

Possible classes and/or inpatient program

Possible

Up to 5 years

Yes

4th

Up to ten years

Up to $25,000

Possible classes and/or inpatient program

Possible

Up to 5 years

Yes

5th

Permanent

Up to $50,000

Possible classes and/or inpatient program

Possible

Minimum 2 years, 5-year maximum

N/A (Driving privileges revoked)

 

Other conditions will alter your penalties, such as whether a death resulted from your OUI, whether you refused to take sobriety tests (increase in automatic license suspension periods), whether you are a junior operator (increase in license suspension periods), and whether you were driving with a suspended license. 

Due to the potential legal consequences of traffic stops that lead to OUI investigations, your best strategy is to hire an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. If you have refused or failed a breath, sobriety, or blood test, a lawyer can help reduce the potential consequences of your charges, possibly getting the case dismissed on police procedural or other grounds. Police OUI investigations are difficult to emerge from unscathed, and often come laden with assumptions that make it easier to charge you with a crime. Most police methods of evaluating intoxication are based on an officer's personal, subjective observations. A good lawyer can investigate these charges, your arrest, the situation and context, and may be able to assess and alter circumstances in your favor.

No matter your approach during a traffic stop, driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemicals is extremely risky, and the best way to avoid serious legal or other consequences is to drive sober or avoid driving when you have been drinking. 

Hardship Licenses in Massachusetts:

A hardship license is a restricted driving permit granted to some eligible individuals who have been convicted of an OUI but need to be able to drive to fulfill some serious/pressing responsibility. Acquiring a hardship license is contingent on enrollment in the First Offender Driver Alcohol Education Program, also known as 24D. For both first-time and multiple offenders, having quality legal representation will increase the likelihood that you will be granted a hardship license during the period of your suspension, allowing you to continue to fulfill your essential responsibilities. 

  • First time offenders - 3 days after the imposition of a 24D disposition
  • First time offenders not receiving a 24D disposition - 3 to 6 months after disposition
  • Second time offenders - 1 year to 18 months after disposition
  • Third time offenders -  2 - 4 years after disposition
  • Fourth time offenders -  5 - 8 years after disposition
  • Fifth time offenders - NO HARDSHIP LICENSE


If you (or a loved one) was charged with Operating Under Influence in Massachusetts, call my office at (781) 436-0316 and speak to a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer for free.

Contact info

(781) 436-0316

inna@mass-law.com

(781) 459-1075

220 Commercial Street #9
Boston, MA 02109


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