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Massachusetts DUI Law Information

Drivers arrested for operating a motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OUI) in Massachusetts may be charged with OUI and face jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension.

Massachusetts OUI defined

It is illegal in the State of Massachusetts for a person to operate a motorized vehicle “upon any way or in any place to which the public has a right of access, or upon any way or in any place to which members of the public have access as invitees or licensees while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or of marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants or stimulant substances, or the vapors of glue” or to operate a motorized vehicle with “a percentage, by weight, of alcohol in their blood of eight one-hundredths or greater.” Massachusetts General Laws Section 24.(1)(a) (1)

Massachusetts Look Back period: lifetime

Massachusetts has a lifetime look back period, which means there is no limit for prior OUI convictions for sentencing purposes. A prior OUI conviction will also not be removed from a driver’s record.

Criminal OUI Penalties in Massachusetts

First OUI offense:
(Misdemeanor)

  • Fines of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000
  • Jail time of no more than 2.5 years
  • $250 Head Injury Fund
  • $250 State Fee
  • $50 OUI Assessment
  • $50 Victim Witness Fee
  • License suspension for one year with a general hardship consideration after 6 months and a work or school hardship consideration after 3 months
  • Probation with the entry and completion of an alcohol education program

First Massachusetts OUI Alternative Disposition:

  • Plead to a Continuance without a Finding (CWOF)
  • Mandatory participation in 16 week alcohol
  • 1 year Probation
  • License suspended for 45 to 90 days, or 210 days for drivers under 21. Hardship license available immediately in most cases. 

Second OUI offense:

  • Jail time of a minimum of 60 days (with 30 days mandatory incarceration) up to 2.5 years
  • Fines of no less than $600 and up to a maximum of $10,000
  • License suspension for 2 years, although a work or school hardship may be allowed after 12 months
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device to receive a hardship license
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 2 years for a license reinstatement

Alternative Disposition

  • 14 days in a patient alcohol abuse treatment program
  • 60 hours of Second Offender’s Aftercare Program (SOAP)
  • 2 year license suspension with work or school hardship consideration after 12 months
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device to receive a hardship
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 2 years for a license reinstatement

 Third OUI offense:

  • Jail time for a minimum of 180 days (150 days mandatory) up to no more than 5 years (may be served in a prison treatment program)
  • Fines of $1,000 up to $15,000
  • Drivers license suspension for 8 years with a work and school hardship license consideration after 2 years. Drivers who refuse the chemical test will not receive a hardship license for 5 years.
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for 2 years
  • Vehicle seizure

Administrative Penalties in Massachusetts

Drivers in Massachusetts have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if they have been arrested for OUI. Failure to consent to the required testing may result in administrative penalties, which are administered by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and are imposed regardless of whether the driver is ultimately convicted of OUI.

Penalties for a test refusal after an OUI arrest:

  • No prior OUI offenses- 180 day license suspension
  • One Prior OUI offense- Three year license suspension
  • Two Prior OUI offenses- Five year license suspension
  • Three of more prior OUI offenses- Lifetime license suspension

To challenge an administrative suspension drivers must request an administrative hearing by contacting the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Drivers may continue to legally drive with their temporary driving permit until the date of their hearing.

(Read more: - state laws )





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