Under 21 OUI

Being charged with OUI in Massachusetts if you are under 21, has some different consequences in terms of your license. When you are under 21, you should understand the following about your case:

  1. License implications for refusing a breath test
  2. Taking a breath test with a result over .02 and over .08
  3. That the legal limit for someone under 21 is still the same as for someone over 21 for purposes of proving the offense in Court.

If you are under 21 and charged with OUI in Massachusetts, you face enhanced penalties for either refusing the breathalyzer or taking the breathalyzer and failing. It is important to understand that the legal limit for court purposes is still .08 regardless of whether you are over or under 21. The .02 limit that may be mentioned if for the purposes of any license suspension with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

A motorist under 21 faces a minimum license suspension of 210 days by pleading guilty or if found guilty after trial. You are also facing additional administrative suspensions. Below I have explained the administrative license suspension penalties for breath test refusal and failing a breath test when you are under 21.

  • Enhanced penalties for under 21 breathalyzer refusals: If you are under 21 and refuse a breathalyzer, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license for three years. Note you only have 15 days from the date of the arrest to request a hearing on a breathalyzer refusal. You must appear at the Boston Registry of Motor Vehicles to request that hearing. In addition to the three year suspension, you face a 180 Youth Alcohol Suspension that may be waived upon your entry into the Youth Alcohol Program.
  • Under 21 with breathalyzer reading over .20: If your are under 21 and register over a .20 on the breathalyzer, any sentence imposed by the court will have the additional condition of completing the second offender 14-day inpatient program.

If you are under 21, for purposes of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, a failure of the breath test is any reading above a .02.

Enhanced penalties for breathalyzer failures for motorists under 18: Any driver under 18 is subject to a one year suspension for a breathalyzer failure. This suspension can be reduced to 180 upon entry into an alcohol treatment program approved by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Enhanced penalties for motorists 18-21: Any driver over 18 and under 21 faces a 180 day suspension for any breathalyzer reading above .02. For a motorist over 18 and under 21, this 180 suspension can be waived upon entry into an alcohol treatment program. This is in addition to the thirty day suspension that is imposed for all drivers regardless of age.

If you take the breathalyzer and fail, you should contact attorney DelSignore immediately as you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing on the issue of whether you failed the breathalyzer and only 15 days to appeal any breath test refusal suspension.

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog - DUI Defenses