Articles Tagged with “drunk driving penalties”

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The Boston Globe reported that a Norfolk woman is facing a second drunken driving charge after allegedly causing a multiple car collision in Attleboro according to several 911 callers. State Police charged her with operating under the influence of liquor, second offense, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation, and marked lanes violations. After interviewing other drivers and administering field sobriety tests, State Police determined that the woman was driving while intoxicated. Police arrested her and took her into custody, transporting her to the State Police barracks in Foxborough. Three people not seriously injured were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The woman was arraigned on Monday in the Attleboro District Court and was ordered held on $3,000 bail with pretrial probation conditions to remain alcohol-free and to refrain from driving an automobile. Her license to operate an automobile was confiscated by the State Police and revoked indefinitely because police deemed her an immediate threat.

If convicted of a second offense OUI, a judge could sentence a defendant to prison for not less than 60 days or up to 2 ½ years in a house of correction. There is a mandatory 30 days that must be served in a house of correction, which may be served at a designated treatment facility for alcohol issues. If a defendant has less than 2 prior convictions he or she is eligible for 2 years of probation in addition to a 14 day in-patient residential alcohol treatment facility. The Registry of Motor Vehicles in Massachusetts will also suspend your license for 2 years. A defendant can apply for a hardship license after a year with the requirement of an alcohol interlocking device in the car during the period of hardship.
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When you are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the official charge in Massachusetts is Operating Under the Influence (OUI). Today, the terms ‘OUI’ ‘DUI’ and ‘DWI’ are used interchangeably. Operating under the influence has become one of the most commonly encountered offenses in Massachusetts. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 17,500 people were killed in automobile collisions involving alcohol in 2002. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this represents 41 percent of the 42,815 people killed in all traffic accidents and crashes that year. Statistical evidence such as this lead to the passing of ‘Melanie’s Law’ in 2005, the purpose of which was to enhance the penalties attached to OUI offenders.

Being charged with an OUI is a serious offense in the state of Massachusetts, and someone charged would be well advised to seek legal counsel. A person may be found guilty of Operating Under the Influence (OUI) if they are 1) at least 21 and 2) register at .08% or higher when tested for your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you’re younger than 21, you will face administrative penalties if you test at .02 or higher, plus standard charges at .08 or higher. If you are convicted, the penalties can be harsh and include imprisonment, significant fines, and suspension of driver’s license, probation, community service sentence, and mandatory enrollment in DUI traffic school.

PENALTIES ATTACHED

Being charged with OUI for the first time can be an extremely stressful and frightening experience. However, retaining an experienced Massachusetts defense attorney for your case can relax the situation and minimize the apprehension. In the event one is found guilty of an OUI first-offense, an individual faces a maximum 2 ½ years in jail, a $5,000 fine, and a 5-year license suspension at your RMV hearing. Drivers arrested for a first OUI offense can get their sentences reduced by agreeing to complete a state-approved alcohol education program. This is not an option after the first offense.

As you probably expected, the penalties for a second offense OUI are more severe. In any case, a qualified OUI defense attorney can significantly reduce the harsh penalties you will be facing. If convicted of a second offense it is possible you will be punished by a fine of at least $600 to the maximum $10,000, and imprisonment for a minimum of 60 days ranging to 2 ½ years; Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 90, § 24. In addition, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license for 2 years when you are convicted on a second offense OUI.
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