Because you must be at least 21 years old to purchase or consume alcohol in Massachusetts, you face tougher consequences if you are convicted of driving while impaired. However, it's important to note that an officer pulling you over and administering a sobriety test does not necessarily mean you are guilty. The prosecution must still prove its case against you. Obtaining an experienced OUI/DUI lawyer before your case goes before a judge increases the likelihood of having the charge dropped or reduced.
Understanding the Zero Tolerance Law in Massachusetts
The Zero Tolerance Law in Massachusetts states that any driver under age 21 who has a blood alcohol concentration greater than .02 but less than .07 is subject to an administrative court hearing. The law allows up to .02 blood alcohol concentration because products such as cough drops and mouthwash contain trace amounts of alcohol. It also accounts for the fact that some parents allow minimal alcohol consumption at religious ceremonies.
Any driver under age 21 who refuses a breath test is subject to a three-year license revocation. If you take the breathalyzer and the prosecution successfully proves its case, maximum penalties include loss of your driver's license for one year and a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000. Other possible consequences include one year of unsupervised probation, weekly alcohol education classes for 16 weeks, or a two-week inpatient alcohol treatment program if your BAC was higher than .20.
Work with an Experienced OUI/DUI Attorney
Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs, Jr. has helped many young people in your situation retain their driving rights by successfully challenging the evidence presented by the prosecution. Please contact us if you or a young person you care about is facing serious penalties due to the state's Zero Tolerance Law.