Massachusetts residents may be aware that operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs can earn then a suspension of their driver’s license. However, they may not be aware of how prior offenses and other specifics of the situation could affect this suspension. The length of a license suspension varies depending on if it’s a first or subsequent offense, and the requirements for getting your license reinstated differ as well.
Under Massachusetts law, if you’re found guilty of operating under the influence for the first time, you can expect your license to be suspended for one year. If this is your second offense, the time doubles to two years. After a third offense, the suspension lasts 8 years, and 10 years for a fourth offense. After a fifth offense, your license could be suspended indefinitely.
Other specifics aside from previous offenses can change this timeline as well. For example, if you have a minor under 15 years of age in the vehicle at the time, your suspension for a first offense could be extended by one additional year, but any subsequent offenses result in an additional three-year suspension. If your OUI results in serious bodily injury to another person, two additional years can be tacked on to your suspension. If you’d been driving on a suspended license, one additional year can be tacked on to your suspension.
In many cases, you must complete certain steps to have your driver’s license reinstated. For a first offense, you can participate in an alcohol education program, and this may reduce the duration of your suspension. For subsequent offenses, you’ll need to pass the permit and driving tests again.
A driver’s license suspension can have significant effects on people’s lives, including their ability to get to work or school. A lawyer could help guide someone who is trying to reduce the duration of a suspension and help them in completing the steps necessary to get their license reinstated.