OUI (operating under the influence) convictions stay on your record forever in Massachusetts. So an OUI is considered a third offense if the driver has two prior OUI convictions within his or her lifetime. A third offense carries jail time, fines, and license revocation. This article explains the specific penalties for a third-offense OUI in Massachusetts.
For a third-offense OUI, the driver will face $1,000 to $15,000 in fines. The judge will also order either 180 days to two and a half years in jail or two and a half years to five years in prison. The driver must serve a minimum 150 days in jail before being released on probation or parole.
Minor passengers. If the OUI incident involved a passenger under 14 years of age, the driver can be convicted of child endangerment. A first OUI involving a minor passenger carries a one-year license suspension. The violator will also face additional fines and jail time, dependent on the number of prior offenses committed.
Vehicle registration. A third offense can also result in the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) canceling the driver’s registration. The driver is eligible to reinstate the registration after completing all license-related penalties.
The court reports all OUI convictions to the RMV. For a third OUI conviction, the RMV will revoke the driver’s license for eight years. The revocation is increased to ten years if the driver has a prior offense that involved bodily injury and for the driver’s lifetime if he or she has a prior vehicular manslaughter conviction.
Hardship license. After two years 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 four years 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. Third offenders who refuse testing in violation of the state’s implied consent laws face a five-year license suspension. This suspension is separate from and runs back-to-back with the two-year conviction revocation. Drivers suspended for test refusal are not eligible for hardship licenses.