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).
In Massachusetts 16,274 people were arrested for drunk driving in 2008.
Think before you drink or face the consequences!
|Fine||$550 - $5,000|
|Prison Term||Up to 2 1/2 years|
|License Suspension||1 year|
|Fine||$600 - $10,000|
|Prison Term||30 days - 2 1/2 years|
|License Suspension||2 years|
|Fine||$1000 - $15,000|
|Prison Term||150 days - 5 years|
|License Suspension||8 years|
|Fine||$1500 - $25,000|
|Prison Term||1 year - 5 years|
|License Suspension||10 years|
|Fine||$2,000 - $50,000|
|Prison Term||2 years - 5 years|
Don't be caught with bad breath!
Fees, Surcharges & Probable Additional Costs: Total = $8009*
*Court costs, insurance surcharge, victim witness fee, and attorney fees will vary.
- 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
- Driver Alcohol Education Program = $574
- Court Costs = $250
- Probation Fee = $780
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).
|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 / 2nd refusal||1 year / Lifetime|
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.
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
Driving Drunk Under the Legal Drinking Age
|If you are under the age of 18 and are arrested for OUI||1-year license loss in addition to any other suspension; $100 reinstatement fee|
|If you are under the age of 21 and are arrested for OUI||180 - day license loss in addition to any other suspensions; $100 reinstatement fee|
Driving Drunk with a Commercial Driver's License
|1st offense OUI: In your commercial or passenger vehicle||1-year loss of CDL License|
|2nd offense OUI: In your commercial or passenger vehicle||Lifetime loss of CDL License|
Driving Drunk while Already Suspended for Drunk Driving
|Drive under the influence of alcohol while your license is already suspended for drunk driving. You will be charged with two crimes at once: OUI and OUI with a suspended license.||1-2 1/2 years in prison; fine $2500 - $10,000;loss of license for 1 year. In addition to the above penalty for operating after suspension while OUI, you will also face the applicable criminal penalty for the OUI offense itself.|
Child Endangerment While Driving Drunk
|Drive under the influence of alcohol with a child 14 years of age or younger in the vehicle. You will be charged with two crimes at once; OUI and Child Endangerment while OUI.||90 days - 2 1/2 years in prison; fine $1,000 - $5,000; loss of license for 1 year.|