When you suffer from alcohol dependence, you may act in ways you otherwise would not. Consuming alcohol before getting behind the wheel is one such example. Massachusetts takes operating under the influence quite seriously under any circumstance. However, the penalties you may face if your charge leads to a conviction are worse if you had a child in the car at the time of your arrest.
Per the Massachusetts General Court, driving with a blood alcohol content that exceeds 0.08% with a child 14 or younger in your vehicle results in a child endangerment violation in addition to a drunk driving charge.
With a child endangerment conviction comes additional penalties. Under these circumstances, you may face an extra fine of between $1,000 and $5,000. You may, too, have to spend between 90 days and two-and-a-half years behind bars.
You should also plan on surrendering your license for a year following a first-time OUI involving child endangerment.
The penalties you may face with a Massachusetts OUI with a child present increase in severity with each subsequent offense. If you have another similar offense in your driving history, you may have to pay a fine that falls somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. You may also have to spend between six months and five years behind bars, depending on whether you serve the time in a house of correction or in state prison.
Your driver’s license also undergoes a three-year suspension for a second drunk driving offense with a child present in the vehicle.