What does Melanie’s Law mean for OUI offenders?

| Feb 28, 2020 | OUI Defense

When you face criminal charges involving operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs of alcohol, you know there is a lot at stake for you. This criminal charge could compromise your driving privileges, lead to time behind bars and result in expensive fines. One of the first steps in fighting back against this type of charge is learning more about what you are up against.

One specific law that could affect your case is Melanie’s Law. Passed in 2005, it resulted in harsher penalties for OUI offenders in Massachusetts. If convicted, it may be a requirement for you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. It is in your interests to present a strong and thoughtful defense strategy against an OUI, starting by reaching out for experienced legal counsel as soon as possible after an arrest. 

The details of Melanie’s Law

Because of Melanie’s Law, there are now longer periods of license suspension and stricter requirements regarding the installation of IIDs. People who already have one OUI conviction on their criminal record will likely have to install an IID upon a second or subsequent OUI offense. Consider the following about Melanie’s Law:

  • Even drivers who are eligible for a hardship license may still need to have an IID, as well as OUI offenders eligible for license reinstatement.
  • The IID will remain installed for the entire length of the hardship license period, as well as two years after license reinstatement.
  • A driver with an IID will have to pass a breath test to confirm there is no alcohol in his or her system before operating a vehicle.
  • At the end of the restricted period, the driver will have to apply with the Ignition Interlock Department to lift the IID requirement.

This is just one of the penalties you could face if this is not your first OUI offense. Regardless of your criminal record in the past, your future is worth protecting.

You can start working on your OUI defense now. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can learn about the most effective way to confront your drunk driving charges and preserve your future interests. You may want to start simply by seeking an assessment of your case, after which you can get an explanation of the options available to you.