Massachusetts Drunk Driving Penalties.


Recent amendments to the tough new statute in Massachusetts make the statute among the tougest in the United States for license suspension. However, our lawyers have the knowledge and the experience to avoid/appeal the very tough provisions. Among the one of the toughest provisions in the statute is that if you are convicted of a drunk driving offense which causes bodily injury, you can lose your driver license for life. Other types of suspensions include immediate threat, GL c.90 sec.22(a); improper operation GL c.90 sec.22(b); License Fraud, GL c.138 sec.34B, GL c.90 sec.22(e); the Massachusetts reciprocity statute mandates a suspension or revocation action on out-of-state offense is in two ways: when another state has suspended a Massachusetts driver, MA must also suspended until the other state clears the driver. MA must also apply the same period of suspension as if the incident happened in Massachusetts, even if the other state did not suspend. It is in these instances, called administrative license suspensions, that our expertise comes in to consistently to get our clients back on the road...even prior to the other state granting driver license privileges. Other common form of license suspension is the so-called private complaint, where a citizen attempts to suspend the driver license of another citizen. It is at these hearings where legal expertise is required. Drug convictions also result in driver license suspension, whether or not the person was driving at the time is irrelevant, GL c.90 sec.22(f); 540CMR sec. 20.01. Again, we are able to modify or overturn these suspensions.


1) Violation of Passenger Restrictions: 1st offense: 30 day suspension; 2nd offense 60 days; 3rd 90 days.

2) Violation of Time Restrictions: no suspension provision; operator is usually cited for some moving violation and vehicle is impounded by the police.

3) Violation of Speed and Drag Racing laws: any junior operator convicted of multiple speeding violations and/or drag racing will sustain a driver license suspension. 1st offense: 180 days suspension. 2nd offense: one year suspension.


1) operator under age 18: an additional suspension that applies to any driver under age 18 who refuses or fails (.02 or above) a breath test: one year, in addition to the initial refusal or failure suspension. entry into a used alcohol program will reduce the YAP suspension to 180 days.

2) operators ages 18-21: an additional suspension applies to any driver of these ages who refuses or fails (.02 or above) breath test. suspension. It's 180 days, in addition to the initial refusal or fail year suspension. entry into a youth alcohol program will waive the YAP suspension.


We have experience in winning registry of motor vehicles breath test refusal hearings (oftentimes called CTR). Final review is in the district court of original jurisdiction, where results are good but often times less favorable. It is only by this process that we are able to get a person's driver license suspension modified during the pendency of the drunk driving case, which in certain counties can take years to come to conclusion. Even if you are found not guilty, you may still need to have CTR appeal representation.


License suspensions are primarily designed to protect the public; license suspensions cannot be backdated by a court, only appeal the date; there is no right to counsel when electing to take a chemical test; there is no requirement that the police advise a defendant of the consequences of failed breath test; but the refusal is not admissible at trial; the registry of motor vehicles is mandated to assess multiple offense is independent of the court action; modification of the lifetime look back window does not violate ex-post facto laws; something less than a conviction may be considered evidence of operation; lifetime revocation for an alcohol-related motor vehicle homicide preceded by OUI is legal.


The laws now allow drivers charged with drunk driving to install so-called iginition locks on their cars, and then apply for limited driving privileges. An iginition lock is a devise which reads the registered owner's breath to ensure the operator is not at .02 or above, or the car may not start. Every month the devise must be read by a certified ignition lock installer. Our office maintains a list of certified installers. If you refused the breath test, the ignition lock requirement may also apply, but the following time line applies for chemical test refusal hearings:

You have 30 days from the date of your arrest to appeal your license suspension for chemical test refusal (CTR).
The first administrative appeal is only at the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston.
You then appeal to the court where you were arraigned.
The appeal is based upon procedure followed by the police and the Registry and is technical in nature.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles does not give work or daytime licenses for chemical test refusal. You either get it back completely or not at all.

Most lawyers will tell you trying to get your license back is a waste of time. This is because their specialty is not Massachusetts OUI or DUI License Law. For a Massachusetts oui lawyer with the experience to get your license back, contact us first. Find a Drunk Driving Attorney NOW

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