For most people, you know it as DUI, DWI, or drunk driving. In Massachusetts, we call it “operating under the influence of intoxicating liquors” or OUI. Whatever you call it, it can spell a big problem for you and your driver’s license. The sooner you start to fight these cases, the better it usually is. At Harrison Barrow, Attorney at Law, P.C, we will fight for you and your right to drive.
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Massachusetts OUI law makes it a crime to operate your vehicle when under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a Massachusetts OUI is .08%; this automatically constitutes an OUI. However, you can also be charged if your ability to operate your vehicle was compromised by intoxication, regardless of your BAC level.
How you are charged and the penalties you will face are generally determined by the number, if any, of previous OUI convictions you have, along with other “aggravating” factors. These factors can include whether you caused an accident involving property damage, injury, or death and whether you were found driving with a minor under the age of 14 at the time of your arrest.
Penalties can include:
- First offense: Up to two and a half years in jail, fines of $500 to $5,000, and a one-year license suspension
- Second offense: 60 days to two and a half years in jail with 30 days served, fines of $600 to $10,000, and a two-year license suspension
- Third offense: 180 days to two and a half years in jail or two and a half to five years in prison with at least 150 days served, fines of $1,000 to $15,000, and up to eight years of license suspension
OUI with a minor is charged as child endangerment, carrying penalties of 90 days to two and a half years in jail, fines of $1,000 to $5,000, and a license suspension of one year.
In first-offense OUI charges, you may be able to have the charge dismissed by undergoing a probation program that includes drug/alcohol treatment or education, the payment of any fees, and potential community service for up to 30 hours. Your license suspension may be reduced to 45 or 90 days with a hardship license that restricts where you can drive and possibly what hours of the day you can drive. You may also be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
At Harrison Barrow, Attorney at Law, P.C., you can count on our Cape Cod OUI attorney to do everything possible to help you avoid or minimize the consequences of a conviction through negotiations with the prosecutor or by conducting a trial. We know how to investigate and prepare for trial and how to present evidence in court that can work in your favor.