In the state of Massachusetts, a drunk driving charge is known as operating under the influence, or OUI, for which the penalties are severe.
However, a penalty is one thing. Your future is quite another. What effect will an OUI conviction have on the plans you are making for your life?
First, the penalties
It is illegal for you to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 percent or higher. Law enforcement officers will stop you if you are driving erratically and ask you to take a sobriety or breath test. OUI penalties for a first offender can include jail time of up to 30 months and as much as $2,000 in fines. You can also expect a 12-month driver’s license suspension.
How OUI affects the job outlook
These days it is common for an employer to run a background check on a potential employee. Your job interview may go very well, but once the recruiter sees the OUI mark on your record, he or she may choose another candidate who has a clean record and therefore appears more trustworthy. If you already have a job and driving is one of your responsibilities, your employer may terminate you because of the OUI.
When it comes to license reinstatement, you will have to show proof of auto insurance. The problem here is that the OUI may cause your insurance agent to regard you as a high-risk driver and the company may cancel your policy. If they agree to a new policy, you can expect the monthly payments to be two to three times higher than they were before.
The potential for a better outcome
There are many aspects to an arrest for OUI, and you will want to explore all your legal options. For example, mistakes in the handling of an arrest are not uncommon, nor are errors in the results of breath tests. You want the best outcome possible for your case and a future without the cloud of an OUI conviction.