Driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher is illegal in all 50 states and can result in criminal charges. The consequences for anyone convicted of a DUI in Massachusetts are severe, even for a first-time offender. However, people with multiple DUI/DWI convictions can expect more serious penalties.
What are the consequences for a DUI conviction?
If you are convicted of a DUI, you may face several penalties. In Massachusetts, first-time DUI offenders often face the following:
- One-year license suspension (You may apply for a hardship license after three months)
- Fines ranging from $500 to $5,000
- Jail sentence of up to 2.5 years
Second-time offenders may face:
- Two-year license suspension (apply for hardship license after one year)
- Fines ranging from $600 to $10,000
- Jail sentence ranging from 60 days to 2.5 years
The most serious consequences are for drivers with five or more DUI offenses. These offenders may face:
- Lifetime license revocation
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $50,000
- 5 years in jail or state prison sentence ranging from 2.5 years to five years
In addition to the above consequences, drivers convicted of a DUI may have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. The device will require the driver to blow into a mouthpiece and will typically only be allowed to drive if their breath is 0.02%. Convicted drivers may also be required to complete a drug/alcohol treatment program.
Defending against DUI charges
Being convicted of a DUI can negatively impact your life in a variety of ways. The best thing to do is to avoid a conviction by coming up with a strategy to defend against the charges you face.
Along with your attorney, you may be able to prove that the officer who arrested you violated your constitutional rights or establish that the results of your breath test were inaccurate. A solid defense strategy can force a prosecutor to drop the charges against you or reduce your sentence.