Trust me, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, its judges, police, prosecutors and probation officers take drunk driving very seriously. Formally referred to in Massachusetts as Operating a Motor Vehicle while Under the Influence of Alcohol (OUI), OUI has developed many names over the years: OUI, DUI and DWI, are all common acronyms for drunk driving. If you have been charged with OUI, DUI or DWI, it is important to speak with an effective and experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Everyone is capable of making a mistake; however, the penalties for even a first offense OUI can be as significant as two and a half (2½) years in jail. While many first offender dispositions consist of a year of probation with a statutory loss of license, fines, fees and alcohol education program, the penalties for second and third offenses even when separated by years of clean driving can include mandatory minimum periods of incarceration.
OUI Penalties under Melanie’s Law
In 2005, Massachusetts passed Melanie’s Law. Under this new law, the criminal penalties for drunk driving become more severe with multiple OUI convictions. As a result of this law and the harsher penalties it provides, it is extremely important to aggressively fight even a first OUI, DUI or DWI charge. Don’t turn one mistake into two: I have defended many people over the years charged with second or third offense OUI who have lamented the fact that they did not fight to defend their first OUI with a prior attorney.
Know your rights. At the Law Office of Michael Patrick Murray, P.C., we provide aggressive criminal defense for people accused of Operating Under the Influence of Liquor. I have effectively defended the rights of clients throughout Massachusetts for more than 18 years.
Call me now at: (508) 393-4162.
Emergency? Need immediate Assistance? Call My Cell Phone: (508) 709-5201.
Operating Under the Influence (OUI , DWI & DUI or “Drunk Driving”) Penalties
Massachusetts OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalties
FIRST OFFENSE OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalty
- Incarceration: Not more than 2 1/2 years House of Correction.
- Fine: $500-$5,000.
- License suspended for 1 year; work/education hardship considered in 3 months; general hardship in 6 months.
Alternative Disposition (M.G.L. c. 90, §24D)
Available to First Offenders, or where there is only one prior OUI more than ten (10) years ago. Important: courts will use the prior CONVICTION Date and the new ARREST date to calculate ten (10) years.
- Fines and court fees of approximately $1,600.00.
- Probation for one up to two years.
- Mandatory participation in 16 week alcohol education program paid for by defendant.
- License suspended for 45 to 90 days (in addition to any penalty for breath test refusal). License suspension is 210 days for drivers under age 21.
- HardshipLicense: You may apply for a hardship license at the Registry Of Motor Vehicles (RMV) three days after the disposition. The RMV usually requires that you be enrolled (not completed) in the First Offender Alcohol Education Program. Includes suspensions for breath test refusal and
enhanced youth suspensions mandated by M.G.L. c. 90, §24P.
Important Note: The RMV will calculate repeat offenses independent of the Court. Daley v. Board of Appeals, 406 Mass 857. Thus while you may have been given a first offender program in court despite the fact that it is your second offense lifetime (or 3rd or 4th etc.), the RMV will calculate the RMV suspension based
upon your actual lifetime offense number.
SECOND OFFENSE OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalty
- Incarceration: Not less than 60 days (30 day mandatory), not more then 2 1/2 years.
- Fine: $600-$10,000.
- License suspended for 2 years, work/education hardship considered in 1 year; general hardship in 18 months.
- As of January 1, 2006 – Interlock device installed in your car at your own expense for 2 years, when you become eligible for hardship or license reinstatement.
Alternative Disposition (2nd Offense OUI)
- 2 years probation.
- 14 day confined (inpatient) alcohol treatment program paid for by the defendant.
- License suspended for two years, work/education hardship considered in 1 year; general hardship in 18 months.
- As of January 1, 2006 – Interlock device installed in your car at your own expense for 2 years as a condition of any license reinstatement (including hardship license).
- If your prior offense is over 10 years ago, you may be eligible for a 24D disposition, which would only be the penalties of a first offense. However, the Registry, however, would still treat you as a 2nd offender for license reinstatement. SeeDaley v. Board of Appeals, 406 Mass 857, above.
THIRD OFFENSE OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalty
- Incarceration: Not less than 180 days (150 day mandatory), not more than 5 years State Prison (felony status).
- May be served in a prison treatment program.
- Fine $1,000-$15,000.
- License suspended for 8 years, work/education hardship considered in 2 years; general hardship in 4 years.
- Commonwealth may seize, keep, and/or sell your vehicle.
FOURTH OFFENSE OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalty
- Incarceration: Not less than 2 years (1 year minimum mandatory), not more than 5 years in State Prison (4th Offense OUI is a Felony Offense).
- Fine $1,500-$25,000.
- License suspended for 10 years, work/education hardship considered in 5 years; general hardship in 8 years.
- Commonwealth may seize, keep, and/or sell your vehicle.
FIFTH OFFENSE OUI (DWI, DUI, “Drunk Driving”) Penalty
- Incarceration: Not less than 2 1/2 years (24 mos. minimum mandatory), not more than 5 years (felony status).
- Fine $2,000-$50,000.
- License Revoked/Suspended for life, no possibility of a hardship license.