Massachusetts DUI Penalties

Massachusetts DUI laws and penalties 

Each State within the United States is given the authority to write their own laws on Driving Under the Influence, or better known as DUI. Within this article we will explore the different laws in the State of Massachusetts, and their penalties. To begin with, Massachusetts has a Lifetime "Lookback Period". This means that any and all prior OUI (Operating Under the Influence) and DUI charges are relevant and admissable for your entire life, and will have a direct effect on your current DUI charge. 

What constitutes a high BAC for a DUI in Massachusetts?

  • Under 21: .02%
  • 21 or Older: .08%
  • Commercial: .04%

There is never an acceptable time to drink and drive as your vision, reasoning, along with your mental capcity to make important decisions and judgments is severely hindered and are not capable of bouncing back to what you are able to perform without alcohol in your system. Each person is different and their tolerance level of alcohol is unpredictable, making it impossible to say how many drinks are "normal" or not. This is what requires law enforcement to perform chemical testing on suspecting DUI offenders. If you are pulled over and are requested to take a chemical test to determine your BAC, or Blood Alcohol Content, Massachusetts has what is known as an implied consent law. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. For refusal to take a chemical test, the penalties are as follows: 

  • First Offense: 180 day license suspension
  • Second Offense: 3 years license suspension
  • Third Offense: 5 year license suspension

What are the penalties within the Massachusetts DUI law?

There are several penalties within the Massachusetts DUI law, and we will explore them here in this section. Should you be pulled over and found guilty of Driving Under the Influence within the boarders of the State of Massachusetts, the following are the penalties you will be facing:

Penalty of Jail

  • First Offense: Up to 30 months
  • Second Offense: Up to 30 days to 30 months
  • Third Offfense: 150 days to 5 years
  • Fourth Offense: 1 to 5 years

Penalties and Fines

  • First Offense: $500 to $5,000
  • Second Offense: $600 to $10,000
  • Third Offense: $1,000 to $15,000
  • Fourth Offense: $1,500 to $25,000

Penalties of License Suspension

  • First Offense: 1 year
  • Second Offense: 2 years
  • Third Offense: 8 years
  • Fourth Offense: 10 years

Penalty of Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

  • First Offense: No
  • Second Offense: Yes
  • Third Offense: Yes
  • Fourth Offense: Yes


It is important to note that the law changes, along with their interpretation and application of them. Due to the fact that there are multiple jurisdictions within a State and each may choose to enforce the law in different ways, it is important to prepare for the unexpected. For this reason you would be wise to retain the services of a professional and expreienced lawyer who is well versed in the DUI laws in the State of Massachusetts and is capable of giving you the direction you need for your specific case, along with being fully aware of the current laws pertaining to DUI. 

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Category: DUI and DWI