In Massachusetts, individuals suspected of operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol can lose their licenses for varying amounts of time depending on their specific circumstances. Factors of note include the age of a driver as well as the number of prior OUIs on their record, with longer suspensions for individuals under the age of 21. Additionally, individuals who refuse chemical testing may face longer penalties than the 30-day minimum for those whose BAC levels are revealed to be greater than .02 percent.
Drivers who refuse testing are entitled to hearings, but they must appear in court at the Boston branch office of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles no later than 15 days following the initial incident, and they can only challenge chemical testing on a few limited grounds. Motorists who fall between the ages of 18 and 21 may be required to participate in Youth Alcohol Programs regardless of whether they submit to a breath test or not.
For those convicted of OUI, the RMV takes the entirety of their driving history into account, regardless of how old incidents on their records may be. OUI drug, liquor and alcohol penalties increase progressively after the first offense, with mandatory lifetime suspensions for fifth offenders. Similarly, serious OUI incidents involving vehicular homicide or manslaughter include lengthier minimum suspensions.
When challenging OUIs or trying to argue their cases at chemical test refusal hearings, motorists must prove beyond reasonable doubt that they were not guilty or that the suspension was unjustified. The state only allows for challenges that fall within a limited range of classifications, but penalties such as license suspension or interlock device requirements can represent significant expenses for motorists. As such, many individuals work with attorneys to frame their arguments in the correct legal light.
Source: Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, “Suspensions & Hearings: Operating Under the Influence (OUI) of Alcohol or Drugs“, October 07, 2014