In Massachusetts, OUI (operating under the influence) convictions stay on your record forever. So an OUI is considered a second offense if the driver has one prior OUI conviction within the driver’s lifetime. This article discusses the mandatory jail, fines, and license revocation for a second-offense OUI in Massachusetts.
For a second-offense OUI, the judge will order 60 days to two and a half years in jail. However, depending on the circumstances, the offender may be eligible for early release (typically, on probation) after completing at least 30 days of the jail sentence. Second offenders also must pay $600 to $10,000 in fines and $300 in fees.
Minor passengers. An OUI offender with a passenger under 14 years old at the time of the offense may face child endangerment charges. The jail and fines depend on the number of prior offenses the offender has that involved minor passengers. A first offense carries $1,000 to $5,000 in fines, 90 days to two and a half years in jail, and a one-year license suspension.
Probation. If the judge believes the offender would benefit from treatment and isn’t a danger to the public, the offender has the option of doing a probation program. The program requires completion of at least 14 days of inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, followed by continued outpatient treatment and probation supervision for two years. Successful completion of the probation program allows the violator to avoid standard OUI penalties except for license revocation.
If the prior offense occurred more than ten years ago, the driver may be eligible for the first-offense probation program.
Treatment. The judge can order drug education classes or treatment if the offender had drugs or inhalants in his or her system while driving.
The court reports all OUI convictions to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV). For a second offense, the RMV will revoke the driver’s license for two years. This revocation will be ten years if the prior offense involved an injury accident and for the driver’s lifetime if the driver has a prior vehicular manslaughter conviction.
Hardship license. After one year of license revocation, the driver is eligible for the 12-hour hardship license. This license permits the holder to drive during a set 12-hour period each day but only with an ignition interlock device (IID). After 18 months of license revocation, the driver can apply for the work/school hardship license that permits driving to and from work or school with the use of an IID.
BAC test refusals. Second offenders who refuse testing in violation of the state’s implied consent laws face a three-year license suspension. This suspension is separate from the two-year revocation for the conviction and runs consecutively. Drivers suspended for test refusal are not eligible for hardship licenses.