Massachusetts has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a OUI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a OUI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures
Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)
Massachusetts is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with a driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional OUI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device (IID), and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.
You will be given a 15 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended on the 16th day for 30 days. After the suspension period, you will have a restricted license allowing you to drive to work or school, health care providers, parole or probation meetings, drug and alcohol counseling, court approved locations and emergencies. Massachusetts may allow you to install an interlock device in lieu of suspension time.
Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.
In Massachusetts, the drunk driving law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .08% or higher on their second offense.
License Revocation, Fines and Jail
- First Offense – Unclassified: up to 30 months in jail, fines up to $5,000, license suspension for 1 year. Court-assigned treatment program.
- Second Offense – Unclassified: 30 days to 30 months in jail, fines up to $10,000, license suspension for 2 years (eligible for hardship license after 1 year), installation of an interlock device for 2 years after license reinstatement. (This is in addition for time using an interlock during the hardship period). Vehicle impound or confiscation is possible. Alcohol education and treatment program required.
- Third Offense – Felony: 150 days to 5 years in jail, fines up to $15,000, 8-year license suspension (eligible for hardship license after 2 years), installation of an interlock device for 2 years after license reinstatement. (This is in addition for time using an interlock during the hardship period).
- Fourth Offense – Felony: 1 to 5 years in jail, fines up to $25,000, 10-year license suspension (eligible for hardship license after 5 years), installation of an interlock device for 2 years after license reinstatement. (This is in addition for time using an interlock during the hardship period).
- Fifth and Subsequent Offense – Felony: 2 to 5 years in jail, fines up to $50,000, permanent license suspension.
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