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Operating Under the Influence (OUI)

police car At the Law Office of Matthew M. Foti we are dedicated to helping people under extremely difficult and stressful circumstances. When you are charged with an OUI your life can feel chaotic. We are here to help you fix your legal problem and get back to your life. We understand what you are going through and can help navigate the legal process for you making it as least stressful as possible. Each case is different, and we can help you make the best decision, whether it’s to take the case to trial or to try and get you back on the road as soon as possible.

An OUI Charge Explained

Throughout the state of Massachusetts, a person can be penalized if convicted of an OUI, often referred to as a “DUI,” for driving or operating a motorized vehicle in a public place if their blood alcohol concentration is of .08% or greater.

A person is thought to be “under the influence” if his or her capability to manage a vehicle has been reduced due to consuming an inebriating substance such as alcohol, narcotics, marijuana or intoxicating vapors.

Massachusetts OUI Conviction Penalties Melanie’s Law – Passed in 2005

In 2005, the Massachusetts Legislature passed several statutes that mandate highly punitive penalties associated with alcohol-related driving offenses, many of which impose required jail time. Melanie’s Law also created a “lifetime look-back” for operating under the influence charges. This means past OUI convictions, no matter how old, can be used to determine repeat offender charges

While each case is different, usually, the following penalties apply to OUI convictions in the state of Massachusetts:

First Offense OUI

In Massachusetts, the first offense is considered a misdemeanor.

  • Fine ranging from $500 – $5000
  • Probation to up to two-and-a-half years of incarceration.
  • Driver’s license suspension of one year. After three months, a driver can apply for a 12-Hour Hardship License, and after six months, there may be eligibility to apply for a work/school Hardship License.
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device upon reinstatement of a driver’s license is required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Second Offense OUI

In Massachusetts, a second offense OUI is considered a misdemeanor, but the potential penalties have more severity

  • Fines ranging from $600 – $10,000.
  • Incarceration from 60 days to no more than two-and-a-half years.
  • If a judge orders jail time in the sentence, a mandatory 30-day stay is required.
  • Driver’s license suspension for two years. After six months, the driver may be eligible to apply for a work/school Hardship License, or after one year, possibly apply for a general Hardship License.
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device upon reinstatement of a driver’s license is required by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Third Offense OUI

In Massachusetts, a third offense OUI is considered a felony.

  • Fines ranging from $1,000- $15,000.
  • Jail for 180 days or up to five years in state prison.
  • License suspension for eight years on and after the suspension for breath test refusal (if any). No consideration for hardship until at least two years into the eight-year license suspension period.
  • Interlock Ignition Device required to be installed at the expense of the driver in their car, before a hardship license is granted, and for an additional two years after a full license is reinstated.
Fourth Offense OUI
  • Fines from $1,500- $25,000.
  • Jail for up to two years with a one-year minimum and up to five years in state prison (felony).
  • A 10-year license suspension. Eligibility for a work/education hardship license considered in five years; general hardship in eight years. If the driver refused the breath test, their license will be suspended for life.
  • Interlock Ignition Device required to be installed at the expense of the driver in their car, before a hardship license is granted, and for an additional two years after a full license is reinstated.
Fifth Offense OUI
  • Fines ranging from $2,000- $50,000.
  • Jail from two-and-a-half years (two years minimum to serve) up to five years in state prison (felony).
  • Driver’s license revoked for life; no hardship license available.
  • Forfeiture of vehicle to the government without compensation.

If you or someone you know needs OUI defense...

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