In the state of Massachusetts, a drunk driving charge is officially termed “operating under the influence,” and a conviction brings harsh penalties, even for first-time offenders.
If a conviction for OUI can disrupt the plans you have for your future, think what a conviction for vehicular homicide could do.
How OUI affects you
If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of operating under the influence of alcohol, you could face a fine of up to $2,000, jail time of up to 30 months and the suspension of your driver’s license for one year. An OUI mark on your record can harm your future. For example, it could disqualify you from pursuing your dream job or, as a younger driver, prevent you from attending the college of your choice.
Living with a more serious conviction
If while driving under the influence of alcohol you cause the death of another person, law enforcement can charge you with vehicular manslaughter. Depending on the circumstances, you could face time in jail or in a house of correction for one to two and a half years or go to state prison for two and a half to 15 years. The sentence cannot be suspended or reduced to less than a year. If you spend time in state prison, you must serve a full year before you are eligible for probation, furlough or parole.
You could face a vehicular manslaughter conviction in a variety of circumstances. The fatality could be another driver, a passenger in your car or a pedestrian. Knowing you were responsible for someone’s death is psychologically devastating. Explore your legal options without delay. You made a serious mistake in drinking and driving, but you must think of your future. You can expect a thorough investigation to begin and the building of a defense strategy that will result in the best outcome possible for your case.