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Boston OUI/DUI Defense Blog

What is the legal limit in Massachusetts?

If you are charged with drunk driving, you may face a myriad of challenges. For example, you could be unable to drive, which can spell disaster for your career or prevent you from getting to school or taking care of other responsibilities. As a result, it is essential to understand the legal limit and carefully review the details of your circumstances if you find yourself in this position. In Boston, and other Massachusetts cities, drunk driving charges have cost people their careers, upended the lives of entire families and caused many other hardships.

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, those who are taken into custody over allegations of driving while under the influence are required to take a breath test. For drivers who are over the age of 21, the legal limit is 0.08. However, the legal limit is significantly lower for drivers who are under the age of 21. If you have not yet turned 21, you may have your driver's license suspended if your blood alcohol content level is 0.02 or greater.

Boating under the influence? That's a crime too.

Not everyone has unfettered ocean access quite like Bay Staters do. With its roots in fishing, whaling and crabbing our state has a rich history on the water. But, with access and tradition come responsibility and care. All states have laws that criminalize drinking and driving. Likewise, all states and the federal government have laws that prohibit Boating Under the Influence (BUI).

As coastal residents, we have the duty to understand BUI laws to keep ourselves and others safe on the water. You can be apprehended for BUI by state or federal authorities while on the water. Just like driving under the influence, a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 can result in charges of BUI. First time BUI offenders in the state of Massachusetts can face criminal penalties up to a $1,000 fine and 30 months in prison.

Consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test

When people get pulled over or are otherwise contained by law enforcement for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, they will usually be asked to take a breathalyzer test. While they have the right to refuse to take this test, they may face consequences of doing this. According to the General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, an officer may impound the vehicle and immediately suspend the driver’s license if a person refuses to submit to the test.

The Town of Boylston outlines the penalties in Massachusetts for refusing a test based on previous drunk driving convictions. If a person has never had an issue before, then he or she will face a 180-day license suspension for refusing to take the test. One or two previous convictions will result in three or five years suspension, respectively. For those who have been a serious repeat offender with three or more convictions, not submitting to a breathalyzer results in a lifetime suspension of their driver’s licenses. The penalties are even stiffer for someone who holds a commercial driver’s license. The first refusal results in a one-year suspension, and a lifetime suspension is what comes with any addition refusals.

Drunken driving rate at a new national low

We hear it time and time again - drink and drive and you will get caught. As it turns out, people might be listening to that message. Rates of drunken driving reached a new national low as of 2014, according to a survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Just 11.1 percent of drivers admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol in 2014, the most recent year for which there is data. This number is down from 15.3 percent when the survey began in 2002. The study relies on self-reported data so the number could be higher than that. Surveyors admit that people may have differing perceptions of what "intoxication" feels like to them and others may be wary to self-report.

How Can A Drunk Driving Conviction Affect My Career?

Nobody wants a drunk driving conviction. If you are found guilty of OUI in Massachusetts, you run the risk of losing your license, and you will have to pay much higher insurance premiums and suffer other financial consequences. Multiple offenses bring incarceration. Perhaps worst of all, the offense can show up on your record for decades.

Some drivers are concerned about how a DWI/OUI/DUI might affect their careers. Are you worried about potential consequences for your career?

Effects of Criminal Record

Your criminal record is a track record of any past convictions or charges you may have. Even if you only have one conviction, having a criminal record can affect your life in various ways. A criminal record can also include the database of cases kept by county and local courts. These records are usually free to be viewed by anyone, despite the connection to the person who is being searched. In some cases, criminal records can be expunged or sealed.

Question 4 to be on the November ballot

The impending presidential election is on the minds of many these days. But Massachusetts voters will also get a chance to be the first state in New England to legalize marijuana, even if Maine will also be voting on it the same day. The state would join Colorado, Washington State, Oregon, the District of Columbia and Alaska in legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Massachusetts first passing its medical marijuana law in 2012. If approved, the law would go into effect Dec. 15. Under the new law, citizens at least 21 years of age would be able to use, possess and grow marijuana.

General guidelines for Question 4:

What Happens If I Have Multiple OUIs?

If you find yourself being prosecuted for an additional OUI offense, you can expect the outcome from Massachusetts law to be severe. Melanie's Law was passed in 2005 to increase the sanctions and consequences for OUI offenders with earlier convictions. Melanie's Law created the new offense of "Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol while Operating after Suspension for Drunk Driving". If you have a previous OUI conviction and are convicted of another OUI, you have the potential to be charged with two crimes at once: OUI and OUI with suspended license.

OUI Breath-Test Evidence Questions

Many questions are being raised about OUI breath-test evidence causing defense attorneys to examine their OUI cases. While the state reviews the breath analysis machines, prosecutors are suspending the use of evidence from police.

There is no time to waste. Let us begin building a strong defense for you now.

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