OUI/DWI Laws in Massachusetts

Learn the key facts about OUI/DWI in Massachusetts.

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In Massachusetts, you can get a OUI/DWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Massachusetts says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Massachusetts and other details about Massachusetts OUI/DWI law.

In Massachusetts, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of OUI/DWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Massachusetts, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

180 day license suspension

3 year license suspension

3 year license suspension

In Massachusetts, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Massachusetts, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for OUI/DWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for a OUI/DWI in Massachusetts?

Here are the minimum jail times for a OUI/DWI in Massachusetts, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum jail term required

30 days jail

150 days jail

How long will prior OUI/DWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, prior OUI/DWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for good.

Can a OUI/DWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Massachusetts?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in your state, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer, you can find a OUI/DWI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted OUI/DWI offenders in Massachusetts?

Yes, ignition interlock devices are required for all convictions (including first offenses).

Where can I get more information about OUI/DWI laws in Massachusetts?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a OUI/DWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Massachusetts OUI/DWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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