The penalties for drunk driving in Massachusetts are, in some ways, harsher than any other DUI laws in the United States. And most of that comes already when there’s a conviction for a first-time offense. It’s a crackdown on drinking and driving in Massachusetts.
First-Time Offense Laws
As with most first-time offense laws, if you refuse to take a blood alcohol content test after being pulled over, you’ll be subjected to a fine and suspension of your drivers license. Keep in mind that your license is automatically suspended for 180 days just based on your refusal to take the test.
While your lawyer may be able to plea bargain for reckless driving, a conviction could mean up to 30 months in jail. That’s one of the severest first-time offense jail terms in the United States.
Additionally, there could be various fines totaling thousands of dollars. This includes an initial fine going up to $5000 and no less than $500. You also have an assessment fine and a $50 fine that goes into a Drunk Driving Victims Trust Fund.
Once convicted, your 180-day license suspension goes up to a year. You’ll also need to go into an alcohol treatment program assigned by the court.
Second Offense Laws
Jail time on a second-time offense is one that doesn’t really change. You still could get up to a maximum of 30 months in jail and no less than 30 days. It’s the fines and license suspension that increase. Fines go up to $10,000, and you won’t be able to drive for up to two years. However, Massachusetts has a little leniency in allowing you to apply for a hardship license after one year.
Remember that you’ll be forced to use an ignition interlock device on your car once you start driving again.
Third Offense Laws
Massachusetts starts applying much harsher penalties if you have a third-time DUI offense. You could potentially go to jail for up to five years in this scenario. Fines increase to a maximum of $15,000, plus a very long eight-year suspension of your drivers license. Again, though, some leniency is available, because you can apply for a hardship license again after two years.
Fourth Offense Laws
Jail time is the same with a fourth offense as the third, despite minimum jail time being no less than one year. You’ll also have extremely expensive fines going up to $25,000. Your license suspension will go up to a decade in this scenario, plus a five-year wait until any hardship license is considered. Ignition locks on your car will apply again as it also does with the third offense.
A Fifth Offense
You’ll never be able to drive again if you have a fifth DUI offense. Jail time will be anywhere from two to five years without any chance of early release. And imagine the nightmare of having to pay $50,000 in fines while your life is ruined.
These are all laws that pose serious warnings to drunk drivers in Massachusetts when far too many keep driving drunk after several convictions. Keep in mind this doesn’t take into account any accidents or deaths you cause that could add the major expense of a lawsuit or longer prison time.
If you need an experienced and proven Massachusetts DUI OUI defense attorney to represent you during your DUI case, call our law office for a case evaluation.