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Penalties For Drunk Driving & Breath Test Refusal

Breath Test Refusal Penalties

Quincy Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

If you stand accused of drunk driving in Massachusetts, it is important to know the penalties you face if you are convicted. It is even more important to have strong defense representation from an experienced attorney.

OUI & Breath Test Refusal in Massachusetts

License suspensions for breath test refusals include:

  • First offender: 180 days
  • Second offender or under 21: three years + 180 days (waived if enrolled in 24P program)
  • Third offender: five years
  • Fourth offender: 10 years
  • Fifth offender: life

Prior offense includes prior OUI, OUI, and serious injury, and MV homicide. No hardship license is available during any period of suspension for breath test refusal. A suspended license may be restored after an acquittal.

Breath Test Failure Consequences

  • Immediate loss of license to the police officer for 30 days or until case is disposed of by plea or trial, whichever comes first
  • The automobile is impounded for 12 hours
  • The breath test result of .08 or above is admissible in prosecution provided test is administered in accordance with law
  • Represents a per se violation of the statute

Penalties for Conviction: First Offense Over Age 21

  • Statutory penalty:
  • Fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or
  • Imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one-half years in House of Correction, or
  • Both a fine and imprisonment
  • License loss of one year

Alternate Disposition for First Offenders

  • Two-years' probation; entry into approved OUI program; pay program costs and assessments; probation supervision fees
  • License loss of 45-90 days
  • Hardship license available after enrollment in program on a limited basis
  • Fines and community service may be assessed

Penalties for First Conviction Under Age 21

  • A person under age 21 loses his or her license for 210 days for first offense conviction for OUI even if he or she enters G.L. c. 90, § 24D program, but is eligible for a 12-hour hardship license upon enrollment in the program.
  • An additional license loss of 180 days is imposed under G.L. c. 90, § 24P; this may be avoided by attendance at a special underage drinking program.
  • If the breath test result for a person between the ages of 17 and 21 is inclusive, and is not less than .20, the first offender program is not available and the individual must attend a rehabilitation program known as the 14-day second-offender in-home program.

Penalties for Conviction on Second Offense

  • Fine of not less than $600 nor more than $10,000, AND
  • Imprisonment for not less than 60 days nor more than 2.5 years
  • Minimum mandatory sentence of 30 days
  • License loss of two years
  • Assessments and fees applicable

Alternate Second Offender Disposition Available:

  • Mandatory in-patient treatment at a residential alcohol treatment facility for 14 days, with aftercare
  • Two years probation
  • Two-year license loss
  • Hardship license available after six months with an ignition lock
  • Program costs and assessments applicable
  • Prior convictions more than 10 years old may render a person eligible for the first-offender program once in a lifetime

Contact Us Before You Talk To The Police

Our Quincy criminal defense lawyers can vigorously defend drivers charged with operating under the influence (OUI) throughout Massachusetts. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation. We know that every case is different. Talk to Sweeney and Associates, LLC, about your case.

Free Case Evaluation

Sweeney & Associates, LLC is proud to offer prospective clients a complimentary initial case evaluation. We understand that every case is unique and will take this time to get to know the details of your situation and begin discussing your legal options for achieving the best possible outcome. As we understand that the reputation of you and your family is at stake, this consultation is completely confidential.

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