Changes in OUI Law
Summary Of Law Changes Under Melanie’s Bill
- There is no longer a 15 day temporary license issued after a refusal to submit to a breath test or a failure of the breath test
- Drunk Driving refusal suspensions for the chemical test have been enhanced – No Eligibility for a Hardship license.
- 1st offense – 180 Days.
- 2nd offense – 3 years
- 3rd offense – 5 years
NOTE: It is advisable given the enhanced penalties to challenge any and all refusal suspensions.
- Hardship eligibility for second offense operating under the influence (OUI, DUI, DWI) has changed from 6 months to one year for a work license and 18 months for a general hardship.
- Hardship eligibility on second and subsequent offense requires the installation of a ignition interlock device for a minimum period of 2 years from the end date of your conviction suspension. Effective January 1, 2006.
- Tampering with ignition interlock devices is separate criminal offense carrying additional license suspensions up to a lifetime suspension. It appears to be discretionary with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
- Refusal suspension and conviction suspension can no longer be run concurrently.
- If you submit to a chemical test and the reading is above a .20 or you are a second offender– you must submit to an alcohol/drug evaluation if convicted. Effective January 1, 2006.
- If you are between the ages of 17-21 and submit to a chemical test and the reading is a .20 or higher – you must attend a 14 day inpatient hospitalization upon an admission or conviction (the so called “2nd offenders program.)
- Introduction into evidence of prior convictions or a prior finding of sufficient facts by either certified attested to copies of original court papers of the defendant’s biographical information or other identified documents, shall be prima facie evidence of prior offenses.
- If you reside out of state or are a full time student out of state and are convicted or admit to sufficient facts to a first offense operating under the influence, you are now permitted to complete and alcohol education program in either your licensed state or Massachusetts.
- If you have been previously convicted of a Motor Vehicle Homicide and are convicted of a Drunk driving charge thereafter, there will be a lifetime license loss. This includes any violation in another state. The reverse also has the same result. That is, if your are convicted of a Drunk Driving (OUI,DUI, DWI) in Massachusetts or another jurisdiction and thereafter are convicted of a Motor Vehicle Homicide the Registry will suspend your license for life.
- Failure to install an ignition interlock device when required to do so carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 150 days.
- Any person convicted of a drunk driving charge or admits to sufficient facts to a drunk driving charge with a child under the age of fourteen in the vehicle or vessel shall also be guilty of child endangerment. BEWARE: This applies to boats. If convicted of Child Endangerment on a prior occasion there is a 6 month minimum mandatory sentence. For a first offense there is a one year license loss and for a subsequent offense 3 year license loss.
- One year minimum mandatory sentence for any person convicted of operating with a suspended license for an operating under the influence case.
- It is now a criminal offense for a person to knowingly allow an unlicensed person to operate a motor vehicle. May carry a revocation of the registration of the motor vehicle used in the commission of this crime for one year.
- A fourth conviction for drunk driving carries with it the potential of a forfeiture proceeding by the government against the motor vehicle or vessel involved in the charge.
- There is a separate criminal offense for manslaughter by motor vehicle that provides a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years and a suspension of no less than 15 years.