If you are convicted of OUI in Massachusetts, you face a long list of possible penalties. For even a first offense, you may face suspension or revocation of your driver’s license for up to a year, a fine of up to $5,000. In some cases, you may even face a jail sentence of up to two and a half years.
But the possible consequences don’t stop with these criminal and administrative penalties from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You may also face penalties that could threaten your career.
Commercial driver’s license
Those who hold a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, face greater scrutiny in any OUI case.
For most Massachusetts drivers, the so-called legal limit for intoxication is 0.08%, but for CDL holders the limit is 0.04%. This means if a CDL holder is found to have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or higher when they’re behind the wheel, they are considered intoxicated per se.
In addition, a conviction on OUI charges threatens a commercial driver’s career in multiple ways. A CDL holder who is found guilty of OUI will lose their license for at least a year for a first offense. A second offense means losing a CDL for life. What’s more, CDL holders cannot apply for a hardship license that would give them restricted driving privileges before their suspension is over. Unlike with other cases, the Registry of Motor Vehicles has no discretion to mitigate penalties when a CDL is involved.
CDL holders must also report any conviction to state and federal regulators.
An OUI can threaten a person’s livelihood even if they don’t drive as part of their job. Many licensing boards have reporting requirements and standards that can put one’s career at risk after an OUI conviction. These include attorneys, medical professionals and teachers.
Defending against OUI charges
As we have seen, the consequences that go with an OUI conviction can be severe, threatening not only a person’s driving privileges, but also their freedom, their property and their livelihood, but it’s important to remember that everyone who is accused of a crime deserves a defense. If you have been accused of OUI, take this blog post as a reminder of what’s at stake.