Experienced Worcester OUI Defense Attorneys Keep One Mistake from Changing Your Life

The skilled and knowledgeable defense you need

If you are arrested in Massachusetts for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OUI), you should know that even first-time OUI penalties can be serious. But the availability of alternative disposition for certain offenders means you may have a shot at a second chance. Even if such leniency is not available in your situation, the state must still prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Our OUI defense attorneys at Gould & Ettenberg, P.C. have succeeded in obtaining reduced penalties for first- and second-time offenders and have also successfully defended those facing more serious OUI charges in the Worcester area.

OUI penalties in Massachusetts

OUI penalties in Massachusetts depend on the number of prior convictions on the offender’s record. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney, however, first- and second-time offenders may be eligible for alternative disposition, which usually includes probation, treatment and reduced license suspension.

  • First offense within a ten-year period
    • Up to 2 ½ years in jail
    • Fine between $500 and $5,000
    • One-year license suspension with hardship eligibility in three to six months
    • Other administrative assessments
  • Second offense within a ten-year period
    • Minimum incarceration of 30 days
    • Fine between $600 and $10,000
    • Two-year license suspension with hardship eligibility in 12 to 18 months
    • Ignition interlock with hardship license
  • Third lifetime offense
    • Minimum incarceration of 150 days
    • Fine between $1,000 and $15,000
    • Eight-year license suspension with hardship eligibility in two to four years
    • Ignition interlock with hardship license
    • Ignition interlock for two years after license reinstatement
  • Fourth lifetime offense
    • Minimum incarceration of one year
    • Fine between $1,500 and $25,000
    • Ten-year license suspension with hardship eligibility in five to eight years
  • Fifth lifetime offense
    • Minimum incarceration of two years
    • Fine between $2,000 and $50,000
    • Lifetime license suspension with no hardship eligibility

OUI for commercial vehicle operators

In the same way that traffic court is a much more serious place for commercial drivers, OUI also carries special ramifications for those who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). For commercial drivers, their CDLs represent their livelihoods. That’s why CDL drivers should understand that a second-offense OUI conviction could result in a lifetime suspension of their CDL privileges. This can be the case even if one or both convictions resulted from the driver’s operation of a private passenger vehicle.

Consequences for underage OUI

Drivers under the age of 21 who are arrested and convicted of OUI face penalties similar to those adults face. For those under the age of 21, however, the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) — the percentage, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood — is .02 as opposed to .08 for adults. Moreover, drivers under the age of 21 are not eligible for hardship licenses. This means they can expect to be prohibited from driving for 180 to 390 days.

Refusing a Breathalyzer®

Refusing a Breathalyzer test, which estimates BAC, is generally not an option for those stopped on suspicion of OUI. A refusal by itself carries a mandatory license suspension of 180 days. This is true even if the person has a clean OUI record. Lengthier suspensions are levied against those with prior OUIs. And those ultimately convicted of OUI even after refusing a Breathalyzer can expect to serve the refusal suspension period in addition to the suspension resulting from the OUI conviction.

Contact a law firm that knows how to handle OUI in Worcester

Our attorneys at Gould & Ettenberg, P.C. stand with those accused of OUI in our area, providing counsel, reassurance and aggressive defense every step of the way. Call us at 508-752-6733 or contact us online to set up a consultation with a caring and experienced attorney today. We are conveniently located in downtown Worcester with easy access to both state and federal courthouses as well as convenient parking.