What are the penalties for a first time OUI conviction?

Driving under the influence, or operating under the influence, as it is known in Massachusetts, is the crime a driver is charged with if their blood alcohol content level is 0.08 percent or higher. This can trigger severe penalties-even if the maximum penalty is not levied against a drunk driver, even the minimum penalty can have serious consequences.

As per the law, for the first time offender, the license must be revoked for at least 45 days and at most 90 days. This leaves the driver without any means of transport. As most people use their vehicle for all their daily tasks, including getting to and from work, picking up children and going grocery shopping, this can severely hamper a convicted drunk driver's day-to-day functioning.

The convicted driver will be placed on probation for a year and will also have to go to a couple of months of mandatory alcohol and drug education programs. This means that not only will the driver not be able to get to the program without assistance, they will also have to carve out time consistently for this program.

Monetary fines can also be applied, ranging from $500 to $5,000. This once again affects a person's day-to-day functioning as funds must be funneled away from one's expenses.

Drunk driving charges should be taken seriously, as the aforementioned discussion signifies. People may be willing to shrug them off initially, but an OUI has far reaching short and long-term consequences.

Source: malegislature.gov, "Section 24D," accessed May 22, 2017

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