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An overview of Massachusetts impaired driving laws

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts prohibits you from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are found to be driving while impaired, you will likely be taken into custody. If you are convicted on a drunk driving charge, you may face a variety of penalties such as a license suspension or a fine.

What is the legal alcohol limit in Massachusetts?

You are assumed to be legally drunk if your blood alcohol level is greater than .08. If you are under the age of 21, you may not have a blood alcohol level of greater than .02. It’s important to note that you can be charged with impaired driving even if you are below the legal limit at the time of a traffic stop.

What are the penalties for impaired driving in Massachusetts?

For a first DUI offense, you may lose your license for up to a year. A license suspension may be extended to up to eight years for subsequent offenses. Furthermore, it may be necessary to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle if you are convicted of impaired for a second or third time. It’s worth mentioning that additional penalties may be levied against you for refusing to submit to a chemical test.

Although a drunk driving charge comes with serious penalties, there are many ways to dispute it in court. For example, you may cast doubt upon the result of a blood, urine or Breathalyzer test. You may also dispute the fact that there were sufficient grounds to stop your vehicle or conduct a field sobriety test. This may significantly weaken the case against you enough to have the case thrown out before it gets to trial.

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