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Hinman Law Blog

OUI Penalties and Melanie’s Law

Melanie’s Law was passed in Massachusetts in 2005, and targets repeat offenders with enhanced penalties. It also increased the amount of the length of license suspension after a Breathalyzer refusal. Below is a summary of the penalties for drunk driving under current Massachusetts Law. You can also read about the RMV ramifications of Breathalyzer refusal and OUI conviction here.

First Offense

If it is your first time being charged with OUI, you can still receive a penalty of up to 2 ½ years in jail, a fine of up to $5000, and a 1-year loss of license. However, there is an alternative disposition that may be available to you, where your case would be Continued without a Finding (CWOF) for one year. This disposition requires unsupervised probation for one year, alcohol treatment classes, and loss of license for a period of up to 90 days.Second Offense

If it is your second time being charged with DUI, you are facing between 60 days and 2 ½ years in jail, and a fine anywhere between $600 and $10,000. You may be eligible for an alternative disposition, which requires a 2-year period of probation with 14-day inpatient alcohol treatment, as well as statutory fines and fees. Effective November 29, 2002, Massachusetts General Law Ch. 90 Sec. 24 established a lifetime look back period for determining subsequent OUI offenses. This means that no matter how long ago your prior offense was, it can be used to charge you as a repeat offender. However, if you only have one prior offense, and it occurred more than 10 years ago, you may be eligible for a first offense disposition.

More than Two Prior Offenses

If you have two or more convictions for OUI, you are facing possible indictment and incarceration for up to 5 years, as well as very hefty fines and fees, and permanent loss of license. It is crucial that you hire a criminal lawyer with an extensive knowledge of DUI to protect your rights.

If you have been charged with DUI in Wellesley, Natick, Needham, Dedham, Dover, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, Newton, Norwood, Westwood, Framingham, Waltham or anywhere in Suffolk, Middlesex, or Norfolk Counties, contact Attorney Hinman for immediate assistance at 617-283-4480, or using the form to the left.