dui law

Like any state, drunk driving is a serious offense in Massachusetts. If you are convicted of these crimes, you could face fines, jail time, and even a revocation of your driving privileges. 

As we head into the new year, there haven’t been any changes to the current laws. However, you still will want to familiarize yourself with those statutes on the books in case you are pulled over by law enforcement. Here is our Massachusetts DUI laws 2024 guide. 

The Basics

In Massachusetts, driving under the influence is commonly referred to as Operating Under the Influence (OUI). Many times, these words will be used interchangeably with each other. In any case, they refer to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 

For drivers 21 and over, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%. If you are under the age of 21, then it lowers significantly to 0.02%. Alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to impaired driving. Marijuana, narcotics, prescription drugs, and even inhalants can affect your driving abilities. Operating a vehicle after using those substances can lead to an OUI charge.

What Happens When You Are Arrested for a Massachusetts OUI/DUI?

If law enforcement has pulled you over for an OUI, you will be asked to complete a field sobriety test. These tests will determine where you are impaired. Some of these tests may include:

Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN)

The walk-and-turn

The one-leg stand test

These results can be admissible in court. Along with that, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer or another chemical test. While you can refuse, Massachusetts does have implied consent laws. That means if you are operating a vehicle on any public road, you have already consented to these tests. A refusal could mean an automatic suspension of your driving privileges.

If you are arrested, you will be taken into custody. Sometimes, the vehicle will be impounded as well.

Massachusetts OUI/DUI Penalties

For those convicted of drunk driving, the penalties can vary. Many of these fines range from $500 to $5,000. After your first conviction, the consequences begin to increase. Sometimes, you could face jail time and even a complete revocation of all driving privileges. 

If you want to reinstate your license, you may be required to complete an alcohol education program. However, depending on the severity and frequency of your arrests, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles may decide to deny any requests for reinstatement. 

What to Do After Being Arrested

If you have been charged with an OUI/DUI, make sure to contact an experienced lawyer. Once any attorney is retained for your case, they can start collecting evidence, analyzing the arrest report, and examining other case details. Any conviction can lead to serious consequences for you. Working with an OUI attorney may help you have the best possible chance for a successful resolution for your case. 

Learn More About OUI/DUI Laws in Massachusetts

While this Massachusetts DUI laws 2024 guide provides an overview of the laws, you will want to have your specific questions answered by a skilled legal professional. 
For over 50 years, the Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. has helped thousands of clients resolve their OUI cases. We provide defense legal services to Springfield, Hyannis, Belchertown, and Cape Cod communities. Contact us by calling (413)-731-9995 or texting (413)-225-2072 to schedule a free initial consultation.