It is never a good idea to drink and drive, but it happens, and when it does there is a good chance you will get arrested. Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a costly mistake. It comes with fines license suspension and possible jail time. There are a few things that you should know if you are pulled over for drunk driving.
What to do When You are Arrested
Remember that you have the right to remain silent. If the arresting officer asks if you have been drinking, you do not have to answer. You also have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, although you should know that refusal to take such a test will result in the immediate suspension of your license. There has been a great deal of controversy over breathalyzer test in the state in recent years; both their accuracy and their cleanliness has been questioned by the state legislature.
You also have the right to refuse a field sobriety test if the officer asks you to take one. The officer is certainly going to ask you for your license, registration, and proof of insurance, and you must provide those things.
Penalties for OUI
A first OUI offense comes with a one-year license suspension, you can get fines of anywhere from $500 to $5000 and in some rare cases, you can get jail time of up to 30 months. You may have to take alcohol classes before having your license reinstated.
A second OUI carries a license suspension of two years, fines of up to $10,000 and up to 30 months in jail. You will also have to get an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car, so you can give yourself a breathalyzer test every time you want to drive. The IID may have to stay in your car for as long as two years after you get your license reinstated.
If you get convicted of a third OUI you will lose your license for eight years, receive fines of up to $15,000 and go to jail for as long as five years. A fourth offense can come with a ten-year suspension and you can go to jail for up to five years. If you get a fifth offense, you can have your license revoked.
Before getting into your car, remember that you are considered drunk if you have a BAC of over 0.08. If you are under 21, you can get an OUI if you have a BAC level of 0.02.
Finding a Lawyer
You want to get the softest sentence possible, and the public defender is probably not your best option in terms of legal representation. Public defenders have a large workload and make little money. When you get an OUI in Massachusetts, you need to find an experienced attorney who understands the laws of the Bay State and knows the best way to advocate on your behalf. With just a little research, you can find an OUI lawyer in Boston who is perfect for you at ouiattorneys.com/oui-lawyers-boston.
Getting an OUI is one of life’s hard-learned lessons. However, with good representation and some careful planning, you can get on a new path.