Massachusetts DUI Statistics
When it comes to legislation in Massachusetts, lawmakers are constantly fighting to increase the penalties for drunk driving defendants. In most cases, the severity of the consequences is highly unfortunate as the charges snare an otherwise law-abiding citizen who has made an easy mistake.
Many first time offenders have no criminal record, are gainfully employed or furthering their education and are charged based on the opinion of the arresting officer that they are under the influence of alcohol.
Hiring a Massachusetts OUI defense attorney is critical to protecting your rights. Whether a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction can result in jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, the suspension of your driver’s license, ignition interlock devices, mandatory treatment and probation. Outside the courtroom, skyrocketing insurance premiums, job loss and the inability to hold certain jobs or occupations licenses may be just the beginning of your trouble. Disclosure on future job applications and ineligibility for certain forms of government aid, including college assistance, may haunt you for years to come.
Even as the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Massachusetts has declined 14.2% in recent years, lawmakers continue to move to toughen penalties, including mandatory ignition interlock devices for some drivers. Melanie’s Law went into effect in 2005 and requires the devices for repeat offenders and those seeking a hardship license. The result has been thousands of dollars added to the cost of a DUI conviction. and the ones that pay the price are too often unsuspecting motorists who simply made a mistake or those who are unfairly charged by overzealous law enforcement.
The state’s lifetime lookback means a second or subsequent offense can result in serious consequences, including lengthy jail time and license suspensions. Hiring an experienced drunk driving defense attorney in Massachusetts is critical when it comes to fighting to keep that first conviction off your permanent driving record.