Massachusetts OUI Laws: FAQ

What are the penalties for an OUI in Massachusetts?

The Penalties for OUI in Massachusetts are typically:

1st Conviction:
·         Fine: $500-$5,000, and/or
·         Jail Time: Up to 2 ½ Years,
·         Court Ordered Alcohol Treatment Program, and
·         45 days to 1 Year License Suspension.

2nd Conviction:
·         Fine: $600-$10,000, and/or
·         Jail Time: 60 Days-2 ½ Years (May be Reduced to 30 days),
·         2 Year License Suspension (eligible for hardship license after 1 year), and
·         Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.

3rd Conviction:
·         Fine: $1,000-$15,000, and/or
·         Jail Time: 180 Days-2 ½ Years (and additional time in State Prison: 1 ½-5 years) (Sentence may be Reduced to 150 Days),
·         8 Year License Suspension (eligible for hardship license after 2 years), and
·         Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.

4th Conviction:
·         Fine: $1,500-$25,000, and/or
·         Jail Time: 2-2 ½ Years (and additional time in State Prison: 1 ½-5 years) (Sentence may be Reduced to 1 Year),
·         10 Year License Suspension (eligible for hardship license after 5 years), and
·         Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device.

5th Conviction:
·         Fine: $2,000-$50,000, and/or
·         Jail Time: 2-5 Years, and
·         Permanent License Revocation.

Additionally if you are convicted of OUI with an OUI Suspended License you will face the following penalties:
·         1-2 ½ Years in Jail,
·         1 Year License Suspension, and
·         $2,500-$10,000 Fines.

Can I get my license back in Massachusetts before my OUI case is resolved?

In almost all OUI arrests, an operator's license is suspended at the time of arrest for either a breath test reading of .08 percent BAC or above or a refusal to submit to a chemical test. In Massachusetts, a license to operate a vehicle is viewed as a privilege not a right.

It is a condition of possession of a license in Massachusetts that you submit to a chemical test if you have been arrested for OUI. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test after being arrested for OUI, or if one is taken and your blood to alcohol ratio is above the legal limit, your license will be temporarily suspended. In both categories, persons who have had their license suspended, pursuant to an OUI arrest, have a right to an immediate appeal to the RMV for the reinstatement of that license.

This particular appeal deals with strictly technical issues relative to the suspension of the license by the arresting police department and the adherence by that department to the procedures the RMV requires for that suspension. A personal or professional hardship is not a legitimate reason that would allow the RMV to reinstate your license for these two categories of suspensions.

It is important that you have a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer review all of the paperwork relative to our OUI license suspension to determine whether or not you may qualify for a reinstatement prior to disposition of your case.

What happens if I am under age 21 and charged with OUI in Massachusetts? 

If you are under 21 and register a BAC or .02 or greater, your license or right to operate will be suspended for 30 days. Also, if you are between the ages of 18 and 21, you will be required to participate in a Youth Alcohol Program (YAP) and serve an additional 180 day suspension. 

There are enhanced penalties if you are under 18 and you are arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol. If you are under 18 you will be required to serve an additional one year suspension and attend the YAP program.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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