OUI Penalties

Massachusetts OUI Penalties

Massachusetts has serious penalties for all DWI convictions. If you are found guilty (or plead guilty / CWOF), you will be subjected to mandatory fines, mandatory license loss, have a criminal record, and be subject to mandatory jail time for a subsequent offense or for aggravated DWI.

Court costs:

$65 monthly probation supervision fee

$50 Victim of Drunk Driving Assessment

$250 Head Injury Assessment

Cost of enrollment in the Alcohol Education Program: approximately $600

License reinstatement fees for breathalyzer test failure or refusal: $500

Fee for full license reinstatement: $500

Standard First Offense DWI

Fines: $500 - $5,000

Jail: up to 2.5 years

License Suspension:1 year suspension.

Alternative Disposition (24D): Mandatory 16 week alcohol drug education; 1 year probation; license suspension 45-90 days (210 day suspension if under the age of 21). Hardship License if eligible.


Second Offense

Fines: $600 - $10,000

Jail: Not less than 60 days - 2.5 years, mandatory minimum 30 days;

License Suspension: 2 year suspension (may be eligible for work and Hardship license after 12 months, or for a general Hardship license after 18 months).

Alternative Disposition (24D): 2 years probation. 14 days in-patient alcohol treatment program; installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for 2 years; 2 year License Suspension (may be eligible for work and education Hardship License after 12 months or general Hardship License after 18 months). No hardship for 3 years if breath test refusal.

If your prior offense is more than 10 years earlier, you may be eligible for a Cahill disposition which provides for first offense penalties, but the RMV still imposes second offense 24D license suspension penalties.

Third Offense DWI

Fines: $1,000 - $15,000;

Jail: 180 days - 5 years, mandatory minimum 150 days.

License Suspension: 8 year suspension (may be eligible for work or education Hardship License after 2 years or general Hardship License after 4 years. No Hardship License eligibility for an additional 5 years if breath test was refused.

Installation of ignition interlock device required for license reinstatement.

No Alternative Disposition is available for a third offense OUI conviction.

Fourth Offense

Fines: $1,500 - $25,000

Jail: 2 years - 5 years, mandatory minimum 1 year.

License Suspension: 10 year suspension (may be eligible for a work or education Hardship License after 5 years or general Hardship License after 8 years.

Installation of ignition interlock device required for license reinstatement.

No Alternative Disposition is available for a fourth offense.


Fifth Offense

Fines: $2,000 - $50,000

Jail: 2.5 years - 5 years, mandatory minimum 24 months.

License Suspension: Lifetime suspension (no Hardship License eligibility).

No Alternative Disposition is available for a fifth offense.


OUI With Child Endangerment[1]

Fines: $1,000 - $5,000

Jail: Mandatory 90 days up to 2.5 years

License Suspension: 1 year for first offense, 3 years for second or subsequent offense, in addition to the license suspension penalty imposed under the DUI/OUI charge (to be served consecutively).


OUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury[2]

Misdemeanor or Felony charge.

Jail: Mandatory 6 months up to 10 years in prison.

License Loss: 2 years


Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device

An interlock device is a machine the driver has to blow into in order to start the car, and occasionally while driving. If you are found guilty of certain OUI charges, you will be required to have this installed prior to getting your license back.

Driving without an ignition interlock device when one is required carries the following penalties:

Period of incarceration for 180 days to two-and-a-half years in the house of corrections or two-and-a-half to five years in state prison. Of that, 150 days is a mandatory sentence without parole or good time, but one may participate in a work release program. May be served in a specially designated D.O.C. alcohol facility.

A fine of $1,000-$15,000.


Operating while Under Suspension for OUI

If you drive while your license is suspended for OUI you face an additional year license suspension and at least 60 days in jail if convicted.

Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol While Already Suspended for OUI

Melanie’s Law made a new offense of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Operating After Suspension for Drunk Driving. The penalties are incredibly harsh including: 1-year minimum mandatory sentence – 2 ½ years imprisonment in a house of correction and a fine of $2,500 - $10,000, and a 1 year license suspension


Collateral Offenses

Besides the often mandatory penalties that are included with DUI convictions, there are often other collateral or potential consequences.


Out of State drivers

If you have a driver’s license from another State, Massachusetts will suspend your privilege to drive Massachusetts. Massachusetts participates in a Driver License Compact. As part of this compact, Massachusetts will forward a conviction of a DWI to the Home State. Once your home State learns of the conviction, they will usually reciprocate, and suspend your driver’s license for the period of suspension that would occur had the DWI taken place in the Home State. Your home State will often include other conditions as they would have occurred as if the DWI happened in that State. It is important to consult with a lawyer who is licensed in the State where your license was issued to fully understand the potential consequences of being found guilty of DWI.


Drivers Under 21

There are increased penalties for OUI related offenses if you are under 21. For first offenses, for refusing a breath test there is a 3 year license loss. Testing above the legal limit is a 210 day license loss. A DUI conviction results in a 210 day loss of license. If the BAC was .20 or higher, there is a mandatory 2 week in-patient alcohol program.


Travel to Foreign Countries

If you are convicted of DWI you will have a criminal record. Some countries will not permit the driver from entering the country.

If you want to travel to Canada, the general rule for Canada, is that an “indictable offense”, as defined by the Canadian Code, can prohibit entry as an excludable offense[3]. DWI is an indictable offense[4].

So, typically, you will not be able to travel to Canada unless you are “rehabilitated”. You may want to talk with a Canadian Consulate to determine your eligibility.


Immigration Consequences

If the DWI charge is a Felony, or punishable by one year in jail, there can be immigration consequences that include being deported. This category would include all aggravated DWIs and subsequent DWIs, but exclude all standard first offense DWIs.

However, if you are seeking to become a citizen, a criminal record can have negative consequences. It is best to speak with a lawyer who deals with immigration issues to determine any possible consequences of a DWI on your record.


Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

If you have a CDL, you will lose your CDL one year upon a DUI conviction, or for refusing a breath test or giving a test above the legal limit. A second offense will be a minimum 10 year CDL suspension.

It does not matter if you were in a vehicle requiring a CDL at the time of driving, only that you had a CDL.


Possible Pilot License Consequences          

Anyone who holds a pilot’s license must notify the FAA of a DWI conviction within 60 days[5]. Failure to report can result in an investigation and certificate action.


[1] MGL Ch. 90 Sec. 24V

[2] MGL Ch. 90 Sec 24L

[3] Please note I am not license to practice in Canada, and therefore any advice related to Canada is not legal advice, and should not be relied on, and should be confirmed for any accuracy or inaccuracies.

[5] 14 C.F.R. 61.15