Drunk Driving Penalties in Massachusetts

License Suspensions for a Breath Test failure:

Age of DriverLicense Suspension
21+ (BT limit .08)30 days
Under 21 (BT limit .02)30 days + 180 Days under Junior Operator Law (unless proof of entry into Youth Alcohol Program which eliminates 180 day susp.)
Under 18 (BT limit .02)1 year under Junior Operator Law (unless proof of entry into Youth Alcohol Program which reduces suspension to 180 days)

License Suspensions for Refusing to Take the Breath Test:

Age of DriverNumber of Prior OUIsSuspension Period
21+None180 days
13 years
25 years
3 or morelifetime
Under 21none3 years
13 years
25 years
3 or morelifetime
Under 18none1 year
AnyPrior OUI with serious bodily injury10 years
Prior vehicular homicide involving alcohollifetime

DWI/OUI Sentences:

First Offense

– A jail term of up to 2 1/2 years House of Correction;
and/or
– Fines from $500-$5,000;
and
– Your license suspended for 1 year.

“Alternative Disposition”,  (This is the most common disposition.)
– 45 – 90 day license suspension, hardship license available after 3 business days, if you qualify (if under 21, suspension is 210 days);
and
– Mandatory alcohol education class (16 weeks);
and
Probation for not more than 2 years.

You can expect to be assessed fines and fees in the neighborhood of $700.00.

Second Offense

– A jail term of not less than 30 days, not more then 2 1/2 years;
and/or
– Fines from $600-$10,000;
and
-Your license suspended for 2 years – work & education hardship considered in 12 months; general hardship in 18 months. No hardship license will be granted for 3 additional years if your refused the breath test;
and
– 2 Years Probation;
and
– 14 day in-patient alcohol treatment program;
and
– An interlock device is installed in your car for 2 years*.

*The Ignition Interlock Requirement: Anyone who has 2 or more OUI convictions and goes to the Registry to have his or her license reinstated must have an ignition interlock device installed in their car for 2 years. This device requires you to blow into it and register a BAC of under .02 or the vehicle will not start. You will pay an installation fee and a monthly rental fee for this device.

Third Offense

– A mandatory jail term of not less than 150 days, up to 5 years in State Prison;
and
– Fines of $1,000-$15,000;
and
– The state may seize and sell your vehicle;
and
– License suspended for 8 years, work/education hardship considered in 2 years (no hardship license for 5 additional years if you refused the breath test); general hardship in 4 years.

Fourth Offense

– A jail term of not less than 2 years, of which you must serve 1 mandatory year, not more than 5 years in State Prison;
and
– Fine $1,500-$25,000;
and
– License suspended for 10 years, work/education hardship considered in 5 years; general hardship in 8 years.

Fifth Offense

– A jail term of not less than 2 1/2 years (24 mos. minimum mandatory), not more than 5 years in State Prison;
and
– Fine $2,000-$50,000;
and
– License suspended for life, no possibility of hardship.