While driving often feels like a right, it’s actually a privilege, and one that comes with certain obligations and responsibilities. One such duty is the requirement to drive while sober–if this responsibility is breached, the consequences may be significant. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, we are experienced in DUI/OUI defense in Massachusetts, and understand how anxious and upset you may be feeling if you’ve recently been charged with drunk driving. To learn more about the penalties for a first-offense DUI/OUI, please reach out to our law firm directly today.
Defining Driving Under the Influence in Massachusetts
Many people are under the impression that in order to get convicted of a DUI in Massachusetts, an individual must blow a .08 percent (or greater) as the result of a breathalyzer test. While it is indeed true that a blood or breath test of .08 percent serves as an automatic presumption of being under the influence, a DUI/OUI offense is committed when a person drives while under the influence of alcohol or another drug. The prosecution can make a conviction without blood or breath results if they have strong evidence otherwise.
Penalties for a First-time DUI/OUI Offense
Even a first-time DUI/OUI offense can result in serious penalties in our state. While there is no mandatory minimum jail sentence, a person may face up to 2.5 years in jail for a first offense. What’s more, they may also face a license suspension of up to one year, as well as fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
While the above are the standard penalties, there are options available, even if you are convicted. For example, if this is your first DUI/OUI offense and you have a clean record otherwise, you may be able to enter into a probation agreement, which will result in a shorter driver’s license suspension period, and even dismissal of the charges in some cases.
Did You Refuse the Breathalyzer Test?
Per the state’s implied consent laws, you are required to submit to a blood or breath test if requested to do so by a law enforcement officer who has cause to believe that you have been drinking and driving. If you refuse to submit to testing, then you will face automatic consequences based purely on your refusal, whether or not you are convicted of a DUI/OUI. For a first-time refusal, you will face an automatic license suspension of 180 days–or three years if you are under 21 years of age.
Get Help from an Experienced Massachusetts DUI/OUI Lawyer
If you are facing DUI/OUI charges, you need an attorney on your side. An attorney will work hard to improve the outcome of your case and protect you from the harshest of consequences. Call the aggressive DUI defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski today to get started. You can reach us online or at (978) 397-0011.