Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol carries significant legal consequences in Massachusetts. Drivers who are visibly intoxicated and/or have measured blood alcohol content above 0.08% can receive fines, license suspension and jail time.
Before facing a DUI court date in Massachusetts, understand the potential penalties for a conviction.
First DUI offense
If you have no prior DUI history within the past 10 years, the court can revoke your license for up to a year. You will receive fines of $500 to $5,000 as well as up to 2.5 years in jail.
Most first-time offenders are eligible for a one-year probation program in lieu of jail time. This requires enrollment in a substance abuse education program along with treatment where indicated. If approved for probation, you will receive a 45-day to 90-day license suspension, and the courts will dismiss your charges when you complete all probation requirements.
Second DUI offense
For a second offense within 10 years, Massachusetts law doubles the maximum fine to $10,000 and the maximum license suspension term to two years. In addition, you must serve at least 30 days and up to 2.5 years in jail. Second-time offenders may qualify for a two-year probation program if they complete 14 days of inpatient substance abuse treatment along with outpatient treatment.
Third DUI offense
A third DUI offense in Massachusetts within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 150 days and up to five years in prison. You could also receive an eight-year license suspension and fines between $1,000 and $15,000. These offenders are not eligible for probation.
Drivers who had a passenger younger than 14 at the time of the DUI arrest will receive a one-year license suspension, up to $5,000 in fines and at least 90 days in jail. Refusal to take a breath or blood test carries a 180-day driver’s license suspension for the first offense along with subsequent penalties for DUI.