When you’re arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, there are many factors that can affect your life moving forward. While jail time is a worry for almost everyone facing this charge, an additional fear is the possibility of losing your driver’s license.
Losing your license can limit your ability to get around, and damaging both your personal life and professional prospects.
What many don’t realize however, is that there are different factors which can go into determining punishments for these violations. In short, it is highly likely you will lose your license for a set period of time, depending on the number of offenses you’ve received.
Punishments for First and Second Offenses
While still severe, punishments for your first OUI charge are minor when compared to the consequences that come with repeated offenses.
For first offenses, you can expect jail time up to 30 months and fines up to $5,000.
As far as your license is concerned, a first time offense typically comes with a 1 year suspension.
Upon your second operating violation, the possible jail time stays the time but the potential fines and license suspension period is increased.
The fines for a second offense can range from $500 to $10,000, while the license suspension period extends to 2 years.
Additionally, upon a second offense you will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, which tests for the presence of alcohol before your car will start.
Increased Consequences for Third and Fourth Offenses
As you would expect, the consequences for OUI charges increase exponentially the more times you are arrested. Once you have reached a third OUI offense, the maximum jail sentence increases to 5 years, and your potential fines could be as high as $15,000.
The license suspension period for a 3rd OUI conviction will actually quadruple from 2 years to 8 years, and as with a second offense, you will be required to install an IID in your car.
There are two differences between a third offense and fourth offense that you should be aware of.
First, the maximum fine increases from $15,000 to $25,000.
Secondly, and more importantly, the license suspension rises to a 10-year period during which you will be mandated to use an IID in your vehicle.
Maximum Penalties for a Fifth Offense
Once you reach a fifth OUI charge, you will face the highest level of consequences possible in every category that there is—with the exception of jail time, which stays at a top sentence of 5 years. The fine amounts you could potentially be required to pay increases to a staggering $50,000.
Most importantly, upon your fifth charge your license will be permanently revoked.
You will not be able to apply for license reinstatement no matter the time period or how many other forms of restitution you have been subject to.
Anyone facing a fifth OUI charge should seriously consider expert legal help, as conviction can negatively impact someone for the entirety of their life.
Finally, it is also important to note that these charges stay on your record in perpetuity, never expiring and always viewed as admissible in future OUI cases.