DUI & DWI
MA DUI & DWI
Drunk drivers are a pure nuisance to safe roadways, creating hazards that shouldn’t be introduced into the roads of the state. The MA State Patrol fights drunk driving with severe penalties, eliminating these hazardous drivers from the road – with very strict penalties even on the first offense. Some people make the mistake of not understanding just what a DUI/DWI offense is – often thinking that it only pertains to drunk drivers when it does not. In fact, the following are included in such offenses:
- Drivers with a BAC over the limit of 0.08% regardless of impairment
- Drivers with apparent impairment regardless of BAC level above or below legal limit
- Drivers who have taken prescription medication and are impaired
- Drivers who have taken narcotics or non-prescription medication and are impaired
Basically, if you reach the legal alcohol limit in MASSACHUSETTS, you are considered to be committing a DUI/DWI even if you feel no impairment, while you are also committing such an offense if you are impaired but have a BAC level under the limit. Any impairment from any drug, medication, or alcohol is against the law and can cause you to be convicted of a DUI.
Rules You Should Know about Driving Under the Influence
It is necessary that you are aware of the differences in impairment levels and the rules that go along with driving under the influence, or driving while impaired in MASSACHUSETTS. If you have reached the legal limit, you are considered to be at general impairment, while the higher you go over the limit, the higher your impairment is.
- Zero Tolerance Law: Drivers under 21 with BAC at or over 0.02% can be charged with DUI offense.
- Implied Consent Law: Drivers who sign driver’s license automatically consent to BAC testing by any means. Refusing testing is an offense punishable by license suspension, fines, and more.
If you receive more than one DUI, your penalties get more and more severe, causing you to eventually lose your driving privileges permanently. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, especially a school bus or those with hazardous materials, you will be punished more severely than if you are operating a standard vehicle at the time of your DUI charge.
The penalties for a DUI conviction can be quite serious and include:
- Misdemeanor to felony conviction
- License suspension
- Jail time
- Fines up to $5,000 or more
- Court ordered drug and alcohol treatment
- Court ordered defensive driving course
- Ignition Interlock Device
With consecutive convictions, the penalties become more and more severe and costly, and could lead to a great deal of jail time as well.
Other DUI Conviction Consequences
While you are going through your troubles with the DMV, you will also be having a bit of trouble getting an auto insurance policy, making it even more difficult to get behind the wheel. Your insurance company can greatly increase your rates, while even dropping your policy, while the DMV could order that you are placed on an SR-22 policy that can cost as much as $400 or more each month.