Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in harsh penalties and consequences for those convicted for this type of criminal offense. Some in Massachusetts believe it may be appropriate and necessary to increase the severity of these penalties. Those who support this state that it could discourage first-time drunk driving offenses.
Ignition interlock devices
There is a measure in the recently passed state budget that will mandate the installation of ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk driving offenders. Up until this point, this was not a penalty for a first OUI conviction in Massachusetts. By increasing the severity of the penalties for an initial OUI, it may discourage drunk driving and lower the number of severe of fatal alcohol-related accidents. The state budget passed in December.
An ignition interlock device is installed in a vehicle, and the driver must blow into it before driving. It detects alcohol in the driver’s system, preventing intoxicated driving. The defendant is responsible for the costs associated with the installation of these devices.
Keeping a criminal record clear
An OUI conviction in Massachusetts will leave a mark on one’s criminal record that could affect that individual for years to come. By fighting a drunk driving charge, it may be possible to avoid a conviction and keep one’s criminal record clear, as well as avoid certain penalties. This includes the compulsory installation of an ignition interlock device. Those arrested for OUI may find it beneficial to speak with an experienced defense attorney regarding the specific legal options available in their situation.