Operating Under The Influence Of Intoxicating Liquor/Narcotics (OUI)

Massachusetts DUI Attorney

  • Breath test
  • Breath test refusal
  • Loss of license

Operation of a Motor Vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs is a serious offense in Massachusetts. Governed under MGL ch. 90, § 24. A conviction or even a continued without a finding can have a devastating impact on a person charged with OUI under Melanie’s Law.

When Melanie’s Law was enacted, it eliminated the look-back period for prior convictions. Melanie’s Law requires a lifetime look-back period for prior conviction. This is critical because the penalty associated with an OUI conviction is based on the number of prior convictions, regardless of how long it has been since a prior conviction.

In an Operating Under the Influence (OUI) prosecution, the government must prove operation of a motor vehicle, on a public way, while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Though the pieces of the offense may seem relatively simple to prove, a skilled attorney can attack an OUI charge from many directions. A first offense is punishable by up to 2 ½ years in the House of Corrections.

Subsequent Offenses: A second offense carries a mandatory minimum of 60 days in the House of Correction or in the alternative a Judge may impose a 14-day in-patient treatment program. This will require a stay at a designated facility for 14-days. A third offense becomes a felony offense and carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 150 days in the House of Correction.  Call Massachusetts DWI Subsequent Offense Lawyer Jeff Miller to schedule a confidential appointment.

As is apparent, the penalty, including mandatory minimum sentences increases based on the number of prior OUI convictions.

License Loss: An OUI charge triggers two license suspensions that can result from your case. First, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license based on your decision to take a breath test or your refusal to take a breath test. These penalties vary based on the number of prior convictions. For example, a refusal to submit to a chemical breath test on your first offense OUI results in a 180 day suspension of your license. There is a possibility of regaining your license prior to the 180 days if you decide to change your plea from not guilty. Refusal to submit to a chemical breath test on a second offense will result in a 3 year suspension of you license.

In addition to the suspension by the Registry of Motor Vehicles for a refusal, if you are convicted, the court will impose a separate suspension which will not take effect until the refusal suspension is completed.

It is apparent the legislature has imposed very strict and harsh penalties for the charge of Operating Under the Influence. Contact Massachusetts OUI Lawyer Jeff Miller immediately to discuss the specifics of your case.


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