Melanie's Law, passed in October 2005, raised penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test and established new criminal offenses against Operating Under the Influence (OUI).
Think before you drink or face the consequences!
Conviction 1st Offense
Fine $550 - $5,000
Prison Term up to 2 1/2 years
License Suspension 1 year
Conviction 2nd Offense
Fine $600 - $10,000
Prison Term 30 days - 2 1/2 years
License Suspension 2 years
Conviction 3rd Offense
Fine $1,000 - $15,000
Prison Term 150 days - 5 years
License Suspension 8 years
Conviction 4th Offense
Fine $1500 - $25,000
Prison Term 1 year - 5 years
License Suspension 10 years
Conviction 5th Offense
Fine $2,000 - $50,000
Prison Term 2 years - 5 years
License Suspension Lifetime
Don't be caught with bad breath!
Fines, Fees, and Other Costs:
Towing Fee - $100
Car Storage - $30
Magistrate Nighttime Bail Fee - $50
Defense Attorney Fee - $5000
Minimum Conviction Fine - $500
Victim Witness Fee - $50
License Reinstatement Fee - $500
Head Injury Treatment Services - $125
Drunk Driving Victim's Trust Fund - $50
Probable Additional Costs:
Driver Alcohol Education Program - $574
Court Costs - $250
Probation Fee - $780
Total - $8009*
*Court costs, insurance surcharge, victim witness fee, and attorney fees will vary.
A Second Offense will cost you even more...
from $1,430 to $10,000!
Refusing A Breathalyzer
Melanie's Law dramatically increases the suspension period for refusing a breathalyzer (over age 21).
Action License Suspension
No prior drunk driving offenses 180 days
1 prior drunk driving offense 3 years
2 prior drunk driving offenses 5 years
3 or more prior drunk driving offenses Lifetime
Motorists will also lose their CDL license
1st refusal: 1 year; 2nd year refusal: Lifetime
Avoid the Ignition Interlock Device
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a handheld breath-alcohol monitoring device that is electronically connected to a vehicle's ignition. Before starting the vehicle, the device requires the driver to take and pass a breath test.
If you have two or more drunk driving offenses and are eligible for a hardship license or for license reinstatement, you must have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in any vehicle you own, lease, or operate.
For a hardship license, the device must be used for the entire life of the hardship, and at least an additional two years after full reinstatement. For a full license reinstatement, the device must be used for at least two years.
A driver must forfeit his/her motorcycle license for the term of the IID restriction.
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Vendor Fees:
$100 - $500 install, $85 monthly
In Massachusetts 16,274 people were arrested for drunk driving in 2008.
Driving Drunk Under the Legal Drinking Age
If you are under the age of 1-year license loss in addition
18 and are arrested for OUI to any other suspension;
$100 reinstatement fee
If you are under the age of 180 - day license loss in
21 and are arrested for OUI addition to any other suspen-
sions; $100 reinstatement fee
Driving Drunk with a Commercial Driver's License
1st offense OUI: 1-year loss of CDL License
in your commercial
or passenger vehicle
2nd offense OUI: Lifetime loss of CDL License
in your commercial
or passenger vehicle
Driving Drunk while Already Suspended for Drunk Driving
Drive under the influence of 1-2 1/2 years in prison; fine
alcohol while your license $2500 - $10,000;loss of license
is already suspended for for 1 year. In addition to the
drunk driving. You will be above penalty for operating
charged with two crimes after suspension while OUI,
at once: OUI and OUI with you will also face the applicable
a suspended license. criminal penalty for the OUI
Child Endangerment While Driving Drunk
Drive under the influence 90 days - 2 1/2 years in prison;
of alcohol with a child 14 fine $1,000 - $5,000; loss of
years of age or younger license for 1 year.
in the vehicle. You will be
charged with two crimes
at once;OUI and Child
Endangerment while OUI.
If you are arrested for drunk driving, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test.
The legal blood alcohol content limit (BAC) for drivers is .08. In addition, drivers under 21 will face license suspensions for BACs as low as 0.02
If you fail the test, your license will be immediately suspended for 30 days. If you refuse the test, your license will be immediately suspended for 180 days or up to life, and your vehicle will be impounded. In either case, you will go to court to face criminal charges.
Drunk driving convictions remain on your driving record for life.
If the court convicts you, this will go on your record as a drunk driving offense and you will face the consequences detailed above.