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HOME > CRIMINAL PRACTICE > OPERATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (OUI/DUI) DRUNK DRIVING
Operating Under the Influence (OUI/DUI)
Attorney Michele Da Silva is an aggressive criminal defense attorney with experience in defending drunk driving charges.  If you are facing OUI charges, It is important that you speak with a criminal defense attorney who understands the complexity of our legal system so that you may be properly infomed of the consequences that you may face which can include long suspension of your driver's license for refusing to take the breathalyzer to imprisonment if you are convicted. 

What You Should Know​

When is a Driver Considered to be Legally Drunk in Massachusetts?

To determine when a driver is considered to be legally operaing under the influence, the law requires a distinciton between three categories of drivers: Non-commercial Drivers 21+, Non-commercial Drivers under 21, and Commercial Drivers.  A non-commercial driver who is twenty-one years or older (21+) is considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.  A drivers of a commercial vehicle is legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .04 percent or greater. Under Massachusetts law, school bus drivers are considered commercial drivers.  However, a driver who is under twenty-one years old is considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .02 or greater.

Should I take a Breathalyzer if I am stopped? 

For many reasons, it is my professional opinion that a person who is under arrest for operating under the influence (OUI/DUI) in Massachusetts should not submit to a breathalyzer test. The breathalyzer test results is evidence which you are providing against yourself and helping the government prove their case against you.  This results in additional costs to you both in legal fees for additional motions which your attorney will have to file in your defense as well as cost associated expert witness to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyzer test resuls and testimony of the police officer.

However, one must understand that there are serious and significant consequences assoicated with failing to submit to a breathalyzer test such as loss of licence for a minimum of 180 days.  In the alternative, if one takes the breathalyzer test and scores higher than the legal limit, he/she will only lose their license for 30 days.  At this point you must be wondering, why not then take the breathalyzer test?  Because in many cases where a person refuses to take the breathalyzer test, if he/she is found not guilty at trial, the mandatory license suspension resulted from failing to take the breathalyzer will be vacated (set aside) and there will be an immediately reinstatement of their right to drive.  In essance, you will not be subjected to the 30 days or the 180 days license suspension.

Consequences of Convictions for Operating Under the Influence
1st Offense Penalties for OUI/DUI Conviction
2nd Offense Penalties for OUI/DUI Conviction
3rd Offense Penalties for OUI/DUI Conviction
4th Offense Penalties for OUI/DUI Conviction

Legal Resources  Massachusetts Law About Drunk Driving

Massachusetts General Laws
Mass. Gen. Laws  Ch.90, sec.24: Drunk Driving
Mass. Gen. Laws  Ch.90, sec.24D: Probation, alcohol education, alcohol treatment
Mass. Gen. Laws  Ch.90, sec.24I-24X: Additional drunk driving provisions. 
Mass. Gen. Laws  Ch.90, sec.24-1/2 Ignition Interlock Devices

Massachusetts Regulations
501 CMR 2: Safe Roads (Breath Testing)
540 CMR 25: Ignition Interlock Devices