If you have been arrested for an operating under the influence (OUI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in Massachusetts, you are probably questioning whether you need an attorney. However, an OUI/DUI conviction can be damaging to your reputation and can have significant short-term and long-lasting legal ramifications. Consider the information below before you decide to waive legal counsel in your OUI or DUI case.
The legal limit of intoxication varies depending on your situation.
In Massachusetts, the legal limit for a driver 21 years and older is .08% blood alcohol content. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, the limit drops to .04% and if you are under 21 years old it drops further to .02%. You can also face charges if the arresting officer believes that any prescription or illegal drug has affected your ability to drive prudently.
You will face both administrative sanctions and criminal penalties if convicted.
Depending on how many prior OUI/DUI convictions you have had, you will faced a license suspension, fines, and possible jail time. Administrative sanctions are enforced by the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles and criminal penalties by the courts system. The first conviction results in a driver's license suspension between 45 to 90 days with a license reinstatement fee up to $1,500 (depending on your circumstances) as your administrative sanction.
For criminal penalties, a first time offender can expect a license suspension of up to one year and between $500 and $5,000 in fines. The offender might also face jail time up to 2 1/2 years or a possible alcohol education program. Each offense increases the punishment.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for an OUI/DUI and need help, please contact us for a case evaluation.