Massachusetts Driver Alcohol Education Programs
If you’re charged with a first OUI offense, you may be eligible for what is referred to as “the alternative sentence.” If the court chooses to accept the recommendation, under chapter 90, section 24D of the Massachusetts General Laws, you can potentially reduce your sentence by agreeing to complete a state-approved Driver Alcohol Education Program (DAEP) in addition to other statutory requirements.
The program, run by state-approved outside groups, consists of an intake assessment, 32 hours of group meetings over 16 weeks, exposure to self-help groups through attending two meetings in your community, and a victim-impact presentation with speakers from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Expect to pay about $700 for the course.
Massachusetts DUI/OUI Penalties
First OUI Offense
If you are arrested for OUI/DUI for the first time in the State of Massachusetts, you will lose your license for a period of 1 year and will face up to 2 and ½ years in jail, as well as a hefty fine of $500 to $5000. If you had a child under the age of 14 in your car, you will have penalties added to your sentence, including more prison time and more license suspension time.
On a First Offense OUI, you may be eligible for what is called the 24D disposition. If you qualify, you could potentially keep your record clean from any criminal convictions and limit your loss of license to 45-90 days with the ability to obtain a hardship license. If you eligible for the 24D program, you would be required to register for and complete an alcohol education program offered through the state, complete your court ordered probation and pay any applicable fines and fees. There are several different locations throughout the Commonwealth that offer the program. In order to obtain a hardship license, you would first be required to register for the 24D program, bring with you documentation of either a work or education hardship and apply at one of the full services Registry of Motor Vehicle locations as referenced here.
Second OUI Offense
A second OUI within will result in stricter penalties, including losing your license for 2 years. You may reapply for a “hardship” license after a period of one year, but you will most likely have to have an ignition interlock device installed before reinstatement. A second offense sentence carries with it jail time of up to 2 -1/2 years with a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and fines of anywhere from $600 to $10,000. On a second offense, the Massachusetts General Laws also permits the imposition of an alternative disposition which would allow the second offender to spend two weeks in an inpatient treatment program in lieu of any mandatory jail time.
If you are charged with a second offense OUI, and have not had a previous conviction within the past ten (10) years, you may be eligible for an alternative sentence under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 90, section 24D. In this situation, you may be eligible for a first offense resolution on a second offense charge – also known as a “Cahill Disposition.” Please consult Attorney Bonavita to determine whether you may qualify for reduced sentencing under the statute on a second offense.
Third OUI Offense
A third OUI conviction means a felony conviction under Massachusetts Law. The potential penalty involves a jail sentence ranging from a mandatory 150 days up to 2-1/2 years, or state prison sentence between 2 and 1/2 and 5 years. Fines, upon conviction, range anywhere from $1000 to $15,000. Additionally, the RMV will suspend your license for eight (8) years and only give you the opportunity to apply for a hardship license after two (2) years.
Fourth OUI Offense
If you are charged with a fourth OUI offense, you are facing felony charges under Massachusetts law. A conviction will result in a jail sentence for a mandatory minimum of for a period one (1) year and potentially up to 2 and 1/2 years in the House of Correction or if adjudicated in Superior Court, between 2 and 5 years in a state prison facility. Costs can range from $1500 to $25,000, depending upon the costs, fees, and fines that are assessed for your sentencing. Additionally, the RMV wills suspend your license for ten (10) years permitting an application for hardship license after five (5) years.
Fifth and Subsequent OUI Offense
A fifth and subsequent OUI conviction means that you lose your license for the rest of your life and face a mandatory minimum state prison sentence of between 2 to 5 years. Fines for a fifth offense OUI conviction range from $2,000 to $50,000.
If you are facing charges for a DUI or OUI in Newburyport, Salem, Boston, Amesbury, Salisbury, Lawrence, Ipswich, or any town in the Essex, Suffolk, or Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, call Criminal Attorney Bonavita immediately at 978-376-6746 or email her with your case information!