As a Massachusetts driver under the age of 21, you face a different standard for what constitutes operating under the influence than an adult driver does. You also face different penalties if you receive an OUI conviction.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles explains that the blood alcohol content threshold for underage drivers is only 0.02% as compared to 0.08% for adult drivers. For a first OUI conviction, you face a maximum jail sentence of 2-1/2 years, a fine of between $500 and $5,000, and a 6-month revocation of your driver’s license which increases to one year if you are age 18 or younger. If you agree to enter the Youth Alcohol Program, you likely will serve a 1-year probation instead of a jail sentence.
Youth Alcohol Program
Under Massachusetts law, the RMV will suspend your underage driver’s license or learner’s permit even if you do not receive an OUI conviction. For instance, if you refuse to submit to a chemical test when law enforcement officers arrest you for OUI, or if you fail the breathalyzer test, the RMV will automatically suspend your license for 30 days. It will also add a separate 3-year Youth Alcohol Program suspension if this is your first OUI arrest. These suspensions are separate from and in addition to whatever suspension a court may impose if it convicts you of OUI.
To get your license back, you will need to enter a enter a Youth Alcohol Program accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Health. Be sure to provide proof of entry and proof of completion to the RMV. If you fail to complete the program, the RMV will resuspend your license.