If you have been charged with an OUI in the state of Massachusetts, you are probably wondering what you can do to get the lightest possible sentence and how much everything will cost. There are a few things you should know about OUI laws in Massachusetts.
What Happens When You are convicted of an OUI?
When you are convicted of an OUI, you face penalties such as fines, mandatory alcohol education, and license suspension. A first conviction can result in potential fines of up to $5000. A second OUI conviction may come with mandatory rehab and a license suspension of up to two years.
A first OUI comes with a license suspension ranging from 45 days to 1 year. Often times your lawyer can get you a hardship license if you need to drive to medical appointments, school, or work. If you have multiple convictions, you may not be able to get a hardship license for at least a year. If you are a repeat offender, when you are granted a hardship license or when your license is reinstated, you will be required to get an ignition interlock device.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is essentially a personal breathalyzer. It is installed in your car underneath the dashboard. It measures the amount of alcohol in your system. The driver will activate the device by blowing into it. If there is alcohol detected it will lock the car for several minutes and you will have the opportunity to try again. You will not be able to drive until no alcohol is detected in your system.
How Accurate are IIDs?
A person has the right to refuse a breathalyzer test in the state of Massachusetts when they are arrested on A OUI. Breathalyzers have proven to be very controversial in The Bay State. In 2018 breath test evidence was thrown out in thousands of cases in the state court. The breathalyzers the state uses had not been calibrated properly. To make matters worse, workers at the Office of Alcohol Testing tried to cover up the miscalibration. In January of 2019, Judge Robert A. Brennan ruled that prosecutors may not use results of breathalyzer test as evidence in court until the state fixed glitches in its testing system. On June 20th, 2019 Secretary of Public Safety Thomas Turco announced that the state would resume using the devices after the Office of Alcohol Testing received national accreditation.
An IID device is essentially a breathalyzer and hence, it is just as fallible. If you have an IID in your car and it will not start due to a false reading, this could cause considerable problems if you are attempting to get to work or handle a family emergency.
True blood alcohol content can only be measured by testing a person’s blood. A breathalyzer measures alcohol in breath and then tries to estimate the blood alcohol content based on the alcohol in your breath.
Unfortunately, some breathalyzers read any chemical compound that contains anything from the methyl group as alcohol. You might get a positive test from breathing the fumes of alcohol, paint or hand sanitizer, to name a few. With good legal representation, you may be able to have the results of a breathalyzer thrown out of court and they may be able to argue that your IID results are not accurate.
How Long do I have to Use an IID?
Normally, you will have to have an IID in your car for the entire time you have a hardship license and for two years after your license has been reinstated. An attorney may be able to get this amount of time reduced with a plea bargain or a solid argument on your behalf in court.
What a Lawyer Can do for You?
If you are accused of an ignition interlock violation, you should hire a lawyer who is intimately familiar with how the devices work and the applicable laws and regulations which govern their use in Massachusetts. You have the right to legal representation in any court, Registry, or Board of Appeal hearing and having the right lawyer can make a huge difference.
- Massachusetts License Reinstatement Hearings
- Breathalyzer Refusal Suspensions
- Chemical Test Refusal Suspension Appeals
- Under 21 DUI
- 2nd Offense DUI
- 3rd Offense DUI
- How DUI Suspension is Calculated
- 4th Offense DUI
- Lifetime License Revocations
- SR-22 Financial Responsibility
- The DUIL Program
- The 2nd Offender DUIL Program
- Ignition Intelrock Devices