In all states, it is illegal to drive when your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. However, states vary when it comes to how they charge drunk drivers, and with respect to how they refer to the crime.
In many states, the crime of driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs is referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). However, in Massachusetts, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is referred to as Operating Under the Influence (OUI). The following is an overview of when drivers in Massachusetts can be charged with an OUI and the legal consequences that they are likely to face.
Being charged with an OUI when you are under the age of 21
If you are under the age of 21, you are subject to zero-tolerance drinking and driving laws. This means that if you are pulled over and measured to have a BAC of 0.02% or higher, it will be assumed that you have been drinking, and you’ll face underage OUI charges.
Being charged with an OUI when you are 21 or older
If you are measured to have a, you’ll face OUI charges since you’ll likely be under the influence of alcohol and therefore unable to drive safely. If your BAC is measured to be 0.20% or higher, you’ll be deemed to be heavily intoxicated, and therefore you will face aggravated OUI charges which will include enhanced penalties.
What are the consequences of an OUI charge?
The seriousness of the consequences associated with your OUI charge will depend on several factors, including your BAC measurement as well as whether you are a first-time offender. You may be able to defend yourself successfully by disputing the BAC test results.
If you are, make sure that you take early action to understand your defense options.