MASSACHUSETTS DUI LAWS
Massachusetts DUI Laws can be harsh and confusing. If your question is not answered on this website, you should contact a Massachusetts DUI attorney.
Under Massachusetts Law drunk driving, (DUI, DWI, OUI) is called Operating Under the Influence. The crime can be prosecuted under two distinct theories (impaired or "per se.") Under the “impaired” theory, the police officer's observations of the motorist and his or her performance of field sobriety tests can be used to prove to prove that the driver’s ability to operate a car safely was impaired by alcohol. In the absence of breath or blood test (blood alcohol content) evidence, the Commonwealth is forced to proceed under this theory. The second theory is called the “per se” theory. Under this theory the police officer’s observations and the results of a Breathalyzer or blood test are used to prove that the motorist operated a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or higher.
If you are arrested for a OUI 1st offense (Operating Under the Influence), you will qualify for a "first offender" disposition, which is know as a 90-24D. The program may also be available for your 2nd offense. Contact an attorney for more information regarding this option.
If you refuse a breath test in Massachusetts, the Registry will automatically suspend your license and the police will immediately confiscate your Massachusetts License upon refusal. (180 days for 1st offense, longer for 2nd or subsequent offense, or of you are under 21 years old). Suspensions for Breath Test Refusals (BTR/CTR) increase when the operator has had previous OUI convictions in his or her lifetime. Enhanced (BTR/CTR) suspensions are not based on previous refusals.
In limited situations, it is possible to successfully challenge the breath test refusal suspension and get your license fully reinstated. Also, if you qualify for the 24D program you may be able to get a hardship license during the suspension period.
You have 15 days from the date of your arrest for OUI/DUI/DWI to appeal the BTR/CTR license suspension. You should contact an attorney regarding this aspect of your case.
An Operating Under the Influence (OUI) conviction, guilty plea, or admission to sufficient facts will be a permanent part of your criminal and driving record. It does not "come off" your record.
More About DUI & Hardship Licenses
Massachusetts DUI/OUI/DWI Penalties