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Massachusetts OUI / DUI / DWI Penalties

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Massachusetts OUI / DUI / DWI Penalties

If you have been charged with drunk driving in Massachusetts, you are undoubtedly concerned with the potential consequences that you face. The maximum criminal penalties for an OUI conviction for persons over the age of 21 are set by statute in Massachusetts and are dependent upon whether you are charged with a first or subsequent offense. The following chart shows the maximum penalties that may be imposed for each level of offense for persons over the age of 21.

When you operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts, you are considered to have consented to a chemical analysis of your blood if you are arrested for drunk driving. If you refuse to take a breath test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. Your license will also be suspended if you fail a breath test with a reading above .08. These suspensions will be imposed by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and are in addition to any suspension that may be imposed by the court. The right-hand column of the chart below will also show the suspension period that a driver will face for failing or refusing a breath test.

FIRST OFFENSE OUI / DUI / DWI

Penalty24D Alternative DispositionBreath Test Failure / Refusal
• Up to 2 ½ years in the House of Correction
• Fine of $500 - $5,000
• License Suspension up to 1 year
Massachusetts allows an alternative disposition for most first offenders
which allows the offender to avoid a guilty finding but imposes the following conditions:
• Probation for up to 2 years
• Completion of a driver alcohol education program
• License Suspension for 45 - 90 days
• Payment of Fees and Fines
Refusal – 180 days license suspension

Failure – 30 days license suspension

SECOND OFFENSE OUI / DUI / DWI

Penalty 24D Alternative Disposition Breath Test Failure / Refusal
• Imprisonment of not less than 60 days nor more than
2 ½ years in the House of Correction (30 day minimum
mandatory sentence)
• Fine of $600 - $10,000
• License Suspension for 2 years
Massachusetts allows an alternative disposition for most second offenders:
• Probation for 2 years
• Completion of a 14 day residential alcohol treatment program
• License Suspension for 2 years
• Payment of Fees and Fines
Refusal - 3 years license suspension

Failure – 30 days license suspension

THIRD OFFENSE OUI / DUI / DWI

PenaltyAlternative DispositionBreath Test Failure / Refusal
• Imprisonment in House of Correction of not less than 180 days nor more than 2 ½ years, or imprisonment in state prison of not less than 2 ½ years nor more than 5 years (150 day minimum mandatory sentence)
• Fine of $1,000 - $15,000
• License Suspension for 8 years
None.Refusal - 5 years license suspension

Failure – 30 days license suspension

FOURTH OFFENSE OUI / DUI / DWI

PenaltyAlternative DispositionBreath Test Failure / Refusal
• Imprisonment in House of Correction of not less than 2 years nor more than 2 ½ years, or imprisonment in state prison of not less than 2 ½ years nor more than 5 years (1 year minimum mandatory sentence)
• Fine of $1,500 - $25,000
• License Suspension for 10 years
None.Refusal - Lifetime license suspension

FIFTH AND SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE OUI / DUI / DWI

PenaltyAlternative DispositionBreath Test Failure / Refusal
• Imprisonment in House of Correction of not less than 2 ½ years, or imprisonment in state prison of not less than 2 ½ years nor more than 5 years (2 year minimum mandatory sentence)
• Fine of $2,000 - $50,000
• License Suspension for 10 years
None.Refusal - Lifetime license suspension

In 2002, Massachusetts enacted the “Lifetime Look-Back Law,” which means that when calculating the OUI and Chemical Test Refusal revocation periods, the RMV will consider the driver’s entire history, including out-of-state convictions, no matter how long ago that the prior offense(s) occurred.

A conviction for drunk driving in Massachusetts carries significant criminal penalties and consequences which affect your vehicle to operate a motor vehicle. This is not a charge to be taken lightly. If you have been charged with OUI in Massachusetts, an experienced attorney at Sankey Law Offices is ready to help you.


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