Under the Massachusetts operating under the influence law, G.L. c. 90 § 24, if you are charged with DUI and you have been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or drug education, treatment or rehabilitation program in Massachusetts or in any other state because of a DUI charge or any “like offense,” such as driving while ability impaired (DWAI), you are considered a second offender and, as such, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for 2 years if you are convicted of DUI.
If you refused to submit to a breathalyzer, after being arrested for a 2nd offense DUI, you will lose your license for 3 years for the breathalyzer refusal. If you are convicted, the 2 year DUI suspension will follow the 3 year chemical test refusal suspension, so that you will serve a total of 5 years of suspension time. You cannot be considered for a hardship license until the 3 year chemical test refusal suspension expires.
As a 2nd offender, Melanie’s law mandates that you use an ignition interlock device while on any hardship license and for two years after the removal of your hardship restriction.
Second offenders are generally placed on supervised probation for 2 years and, as a condition of probation, they must complete a two week residential in-patient alcohol program known as the DUIL program which is operated out of Tewksbury State Hospital. Failure to complete the program will result in a probation violation and possibly jail. After completing the in-house portion of the DUIL program, 2nd offenders must complete the outpatient aftercare portion of the program. This is required both as a condition of probation and as a condition of obtaining a hardship license.
The penalty for a 2nd offense DUI in Massachusetts is a minimum of 60 days up to 2½ years in a house of correction, a fine ranging from $600 to $10,000; plus a $250 Head Injury Assessment and $50 Victims of Drunk Driving Assessment. A 2nd offense DUI conviction cannot be filing, continued without a finding (CWOF’ed) , and there can be no suspended sentence or probation until 30 at least 30 days in jail are served.
A DUI lawyer may be able to get a qualified 2nd offender an alternative disposition pursuant to G.L. c. 90 §24D. Under this disposition, after a conviction or CWOF, the defendant is placed probation for up to 2 years and required to pay all of the above-listed costs plus an alcohol program fee. Instead of the 2 year suspension, a person over 21 years of age who is qualified for this alternative disposition will only have his or her license suspended for 45 to 90 days. A defendant who is under 21 will have to serve a 210 day license suspension. Only those 2nd offenders whose first DUI conviction is 10 years or more from the incident date of the 2nd DUI offense are eligible for this option.
Defendants who are 17-21 years old who have a BAC of .20 or more must complete the DUIL program. Other offenders can complete the 16 week outpatient 1st offender program, even though they are 2nd offenders.
Also, the sentencing judge may require certain adult offenders to complete the 14 day in-patient program in place of the 16 week 1st outpatient program, at his or her discretion.
It is important to remember that out of state DUI offenses count, no matter when or where they occurred. This is because unlike some other states, Massachusetts has no limitations on considering out of state offenses.
If you are a 2nd offender of facing a DUI 2nd offense charge in Massachusetts, fill out the contact form for a free consultation with a Mass. Registry lawyer.