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As of July, 2003, Massachusetts has a “per se” DUI/ OUI law, under which you are considered Driving Under the Influence if your blood alcohol ratio (BAC) is over .08. In Massachusetts, most simple first offender DUI charges are handled as “alternative disposition” probation plea bargains, under which you participate in a mandatory drug-alcohol education program, and your license is temporarily suspended.

Dui First Offense Penalties:

Jail: Not more than 2 1/2 years House of Correction
Fine: $500-$5,000
License suspended for 1 year; work/education hardship license considered in 3 months; general hardship in 6 months.
Alternative disposition (1st Offense OUI)

Probation based on a plea bargain of the criminal DUI charge above.
Mandatory participation in alcohol-drug education program paid for by defendant.
License suspended for 30 days (210 days for drivers under age 21)
License Suspension:

· A breath test of .08 for operators over age 21 (or .02 for operators under age 21) incurs a 90 day suspension. This suspension terminates at 90 days or with the disposition of the case, whichever is earlier. For a first offense OUI charge (over age 21), the license suspension period has recently decreased from 90 to 30 days. If you plea bargain to the criminal DUI charge, you will receive no more than a license suspension of 30 days.

Refusing the Breath Test:

If you refused the breathalyzer, you will automatically lose your license for 180 days for the first refusal offense. Under Massachusetts DUI law you have no right to an attorney after being asked to take a field sobriety test.

If you refused to take a breath or blood test after being arrested in Massachusetts, or if the results of your test were .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or above, your license will be suspended 15 days after the arrest, unless you take action to demand an administrative hearing within 30 business days after the arrest.

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