There are many myths regarding drunk driving. Perhaps due to these myths, so many individuals get busted for a Massachusetts drunk driving charge. Here’s a look at ten of the biggest myths regarding DUIs:
- I Drive Better When I’m Drunk. It’s not an exaggeration to say that NO ONE drives better impaired. If you’ve happened to drive drunk in the past and were not arrested, this does not mean you are a good drunk driver. This just means that you got extremely lucky in a very dangerous situation.
- I’ll be Okay If I Drive Slow. One of the biggest tip-offs of a drunk driver to the police is a slow driver. You may not realize it in your drunken state, but driving well below the speed limit is a sure sign that you are impaired.
- I Only Had 2 Drinks. It’s not true that you cannot be arrested for a DUI if you stay below the two-drink minimum. There are many different factors that go into being drunk including your size, weight, what you’ve eaten, etc. So two drinks could easily lead to a DUI charge.
- I Won’t Get in Trouble If I Refuse the Breathalyzer. Not only will you get into trouble for refusing the Breathalyzer, but you could face penalties even if you weren’t drunk in the first place. If you drive, you are deemed to have given consent to a breath test. If you refuse, you could face penalties like a license suspension.
- As Long as my BAC is Below 0.08 I’m Okay. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 means that you are automatically considered to be drunk driving. But even if your blood alcohol level is below 0.08, you could still be charged so long as your driving is impaired.
- I Can Fool a Breathalyzer with a Mint. While a mint may cover the alcohol smell on your breath, it has no impact on your blood alcohol level.
- Drinking Coffee or Eating Something Will Sober Me Up. Drinking coffee or chugging down a hamburger before getting in a car drunk will not immediately sober you up.
- Failing a Breathalyzer Equals a Conviction. If you fail a Breathalyzer test, it is not automatic that you will be convicted of a drunk driving charge. Some of the most common defenses to a DUI involve challenging the accuracy of a Breathalyzer including whether the device was calibrated properly.
- A DUI is No Big Deal. Being convicted of a DUI charge can have lifelong ramifications. Not only may you face jail time for a DUI, but a DUI can also result in a criminal record that can impact your job prospects and ability to get a loan on a home.
- I Can Fight My DUI Charge Alone. Prosecutors are hardened negotiators and experts on the law. If you attempt to defend your charge without help, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Given the stakes of a DUI conviction, you will want an experienced Massachusetts DUI attorney on your side.
There are literally hundreds of Massachusetts DUI attorneys to choose from. These attorneys may make many promises and have very polished resumes. So it can be very difficult to make your decision on whom to hire.
Choosing the right DUI attorney is especially critical given what is at stake in a drunk driving case. If you are convicted, you could face serious jail time. In addition, a conviction can stick with you for life, making it difficult to find a job and even get a loan for your home.
Here are ten red flags you should look out for when choosing a DUI attorney:
- Promises and Guarantees of a Specific Result. Be wary of an attorney who guarantees that you will beat the charges. While this may be exactly what you want to hear, no attorney can promises with 100% accuracy that you will be exonerated. Instead, look for an attorney who provides a balanced and realistic expectation of the DUI process.
- General Practice Attorney. Massachusetts drunk driving law is a very specific body of law. So you do not want an intellectual property attorney or a family attorney representing you in your case. This is true even if your cousin highly recommends the attorney and even if the attorney has several Harvard degrees. Instead, choose an attorney who specializes in drunk driving defense.
- Rookie Attorney. All attorneys have to start somewhere. However, you may not want your case to be the test case of an attorney straight out of school. While starting attorneys may offer lots of energy and exuberance, they may lack real-world legal experience. Instead, choose an attorney who has successfully defended DUI cases and knows the inside and outside of the law.
- Bait and Switch. Oftentimes, you will interview with an experienced attorney only to later discover that his rookie associate will be doing the work on your case. To avoid this, ask the attorney you talk to who will actually be performing the work. If it is someone else, you will want to talk to that attorney.
- Way-Too-Busy Attorney. Defending a DUI case is a very serious matter and you may understandably be nervous going through the process. As a result, you will want to be able to reach your attorney and ask him questions. Ask your attorney to provide his cell phone number and ask if you can text him questions. You do not want the most qualified attorney, if he never has time to answer your questions or address your concerns.
- Mystery of How Much You Will Have to Pay. While you may not get an exact quote of how much your DUI defense will cost, you should have a general idea of what you will be charged with and the fees involved. You should get fee arrangements in writing.
- Over the Phone Interviews Only. You will want to meet personally with your attorney before hiring him. Choosing the right attorney is a very personal decision and you will want to talk to him in person.
- No Consultations. A prospective attorney should take the time out to discuss the basics of your case with you. While the attorney cannot be expected to provide a detailed breakdown on the first meeting, you should have the opportunity to evaluate the attorney’s knowledge and ability at a consultation.
- No References. The best way to judge a prospective lawyer is to talk to clients who’ve hired the lawyer. Ask for references or check user review websites for insight.
- Bad Gut Feeling. Sometimes an attorney will just feel sleazy. You must feel comfortable working with and talking to your attorney. If you feel that your lawyer is untrustworthy and sleazy, imagine what a jury or judge would think.
If you are looking to hire a Massachusetts DUI attorney, you may be bombarded with hundreds of options.
But while there are hundreds of DUI attorneys to choose from, not all of them are created equal.
Some attorneys are experienced and excellent at what they do, while other attorneys may be inexperienced and have little idea of how to defend a drunk driving case.
To help you choose the best DUI attorney for your case, keep these ten tips in mind:
- Concentration. A lawyer who has two Harvard degrees is of no use to you if his concentration is bankruptcy law. You have to make sure that the lawyer you hire concentrates not just in criminal defense, but DUI defense. Drunk driving law is very specific and you will want to hire an attorney who understands all the nuances of the law.
- Experience. It’s one thing to call yourself a DUI attorney, it’s another thing to actually be a DUI attorney. Ask each prospective attorney how many cases they’ve handled in the past, how many trials they’ve done, and the success of their prior cases.
- References and Referrals. If you know someone who had been charged with a DUI, you can ask about his experience with his attorney and a possible referral. You can also ask the attorney for referrals and talk to actual clients that he had represented.
- Internet Research. You can also perform some research on the Internet regarding a prospective attorney. Some user-review websites like Yelp or Avvo provide reviews, ratings, and comments from past clients.
- Meeting. It’s important to feel comfortable with your attorney and have a good relationship. You will need to trust your attorney and feel confident trusting him with your personal information. This can only be accomplished at a face-to-face meeting. Sometimes you may not hit it off with even the most credentialed attorney. You’ll need to find a balance between comfort and competence in your lawyer.
- Representation. Oftentimes, you may talk to an attorney at the initial interview and that person may be different from the person who will actually be working on your case. For example, many partners or senior attorneys handle client meetings, while their associates actually perform the work defending your case. You want to make sure that you know who will be representing you and that you are comfortable with that person.
- Fees. You should have some general idea of how much you will have to pay for the attorney’s services. While most attorneys will not pinpoint a number (this is okay), you should understand how you will be billed, what services and fees will be charged, and have a rough idea what you will have to pay.
- Follow-Up. You will inevitably have questions about your case and want to talk to your attorney. Ask the lawyer how you can ask questions and if you can contact him directly via phone or text message. You want an attorney who maintains open lines of communication and keeps you in the loop.
- Discussion. During the initial consultation, you may bring up some specifics about your case just to see how the lawyer responds. You can get a good idea of the attorney’s handle over the subject matter by reviewing his response.
- Shop Around. As mentioned above, there are literally hundreds of Massachusetts DUI attorneys to choose from. Shop around and talk to several lawyers. Make sure you feel comfortable before settling on the attorney you hire.
There is a lot at stake in a DUI trial. You can face criminal penalties and possibly go to jail. As a result, you will want to make sure you hire the best DUI attorney for you. Keep these tips in mind as you search.
As more states across the country have decriminalized marijuana, law enforcement and courts face a new challenge: how to regulate drivers who use the drug.
Last November, Washington and Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, and Massachusetts joined the growing number of states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Massachusetts General Laws ch. 90 sec. 24 prohibits driving while under the influence of marijuana, just like driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. But, there are two issues that complicate the regulation of marijuana on roadways: how do authorities accurately measure whether a driver is too “high” to drive, and does using marijuana inhibit someone from driving safely in the first place?
Impaired Driving on Marijuana
Regardless of how one feels about legalizing recreational marijuana, most people probably initially think “Of course pot impairs your driving ability, and driving high should be illegal.” But there appears to be some legitimate evidence to the contrary. Marijuana does mildly impair psychomotor skills, and studies reveal that this tends to cause people to drive and react slower, but that it may not significantly increase the chances of a car wreck.
Specifically, one study noted that drivers who took large doses of cannabis (1) drove more cautiously, (2) drove with “increased variability in lane position,” and (3) reacted more slowly. The researchers noted that although these changes deviated from typical driving behavior, they did not indicate that marijuana impairs driving ability because few studies show increased risk of accidents.
Nevertheless, another study suggested a very different conclusion: that using marijuana nearly doubled the chances of being involved in a car accident, and studies also suggest it takes longer for stoned drivers to hit the brakes.
Detecting Marijuana Impairment
Now the question is raised of how authorities measure marijuana in a driver’s system. Currently, if a police officer suspected a driver had been using pot (e.g., if the car smelled of marijuana), he would likely administer a field sobriety test. But this test mostly judges a motorist’s coordination and balance, which marijuana doesn’t significantly impair. There is a somewhat more sophisticated procedure to determine drug intoxication, (a “Drug Recognition Expert Examination”) but many officers are not trained to conduct it, and it still doesn’t have the reliability that BAC tests do regarding alcohol.
Further, blood tests for marijuana do not accurately reflect that a person is under its influence in the way that BAC tests can show that someone is drunk. Cannabis can be detected in users’ blood weeks after they use it. It seems unfair to punish someone for driving under the influence because the person had marijuana in her/ his system when she/ he had used 2 weeks before and was completely sober when driving. Still, some people advocate a zero-tolerance policy that would apply to this exact scenario.
Washington set a marijuana blood limit while driving at 5 nanograms per milliliter, but the same measure failed to pass in Colorado.
Without reliable testing, police and courts in Massachusetts will face a number of difficulties prosecuting OUI marijuana cases. Police aren’t trained to detect chemicals in drivers’ blood (except for alcohol), and would have a tough time even showing you were intoxicated on marijuana with a field sobriety test. Further, the defense could argue that marijuana does not significantly impair driving ability, unlike alcohol. This could also make the prosecution’s case more difficult because it might have to hire experts to argue the contrary. Without strong, incriminating evidence, these cases should prove difficult to prosecute.
Hit and Run Penalties
Leaving the scene of an accident, commonly known as a hit-and-run, can seem insignificant in the case of a minor accident, but in Massachusetts it can be a serious criminal offense. Under Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 90 sec. 24(2)(a), someone who is involved in an auto accident and then leaves the scene is subject to one of three different realms of penalty. Each crime involves different elements and carries significantly different penalties; the difference stems from whether only property damage occurred, whether there was personal injury, or whether someone died as a result of the accident.
The property damage provision is typically the least serious of these crimes. It states that it is a crime to knowingly be involved in an automotive accident that damages a car or other property, if you fail to stop and give your name, address, and vehicle registration. A property damage hit-and-run conviction carries a $20-$200 fine or a jail term of 2 weeks to 2 years.
Although these charges might seem simple to prove, the prosecution needs to establish a number of elements before you may be found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident. These elements include:
- You operated a vehicle,
- The vehicle was on a public road,
- While you operated the vehicle, it collided with another vehicle or other property,
- You knew the accident occurred, and
- You did not stop and give your name, address, and registration number.
In some cases, there will be opportunities to show the prosecution cannot prove one of these requirements. For example, a witness might claim that a particular car was involved in an accident, but that does not mean that the car’s owner was driving at the time, even if that particular car was involved. There can also be doubt raised as to whether a vehicle caused the damage.
The hit-and-run personal injury provision is largely identical to the property damage section. The difference is that it only applies if the collision injures someone, short of the person’s death. Injuring someone in a car wreck and leaving the scene carries 6 months to 2 years in jail in addition to a fine of $500-$2,000.
The final and most serious hit-and-run charge is when the accident results in someone’s death. Again, the elements of this crime are similar to the two above, except that a death must occur and the defendant must leave the scene to avoid prosecution or evade apprehension. This crime carries 2 1/2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1,000 to $5,000.
In any event, having previous convictions, especially for driving offenses like reckless endangerment or DUI, can result in a harsher sentence for a hit-and-run conviction.
Leaving the scene of an accident could also subject you to a civil lawsuit. If you were found guilty of hit-and-run in a criminal case, this would increase your chances of having to pay the victim for civil damages. If someone were injured in the incident, the victim’s potentially huge medical bills and costs for pain and suffering could result in the defendant being liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars, especially if the jury viewed the hit-and-run as an aggravating factor.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, you face very severe Massachusetts DUI penalties.
The severity of the penalties typically depend upon your past history and any drunk driving convictions in your background. Penalties typically can include jail time, monetary fines, license suspensions, and more.
First Time DUI Offense
If this is your first time being charged with a drunk driving offense in Massachusetts, you face the least severe penalties that can include:
- Up to 2 1/2 years in jail
- Possible $5,000 fine
- One-year driver’s license suspension
As you can see, even the first-time DUI penalties can be severe.
However, you should know that first-time DUI offenders in Massachusetts may be eligible for alternative disposition of their DUI offense. Generally, this means that you can avoid jail time if you pay several fines and court fees, agree to serve probation, and attend an alcohol education program.
Second-Time DUI Offense
If you have been convicted of one prior DUI offense, the penalties you face can include:
- Between 30 days and 2 1/2 years in jail
- Possible $10,000 fine
- Two-year driver’s license suspension
Alternative disposition may also be available for someone charged with a second DUI offense. You should talk to an attorney to learn more about alternative disposition penalties and its availability for you.
Third-Time DUI Offense
If you have two prior DUI convictions on your record, the penalties you face can include:
- Between 150 days and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $15,000 fine
- Eight-year driver’s license suspension
The penalties greatly increase with a third-time DUI charge. You face significant jail time and alternative disposition is no longer available.
Fourth-Time DUI Offense
Someone with three prior DUI convictions, faces penalties including:
- Between 1 year and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $25,000 fine
- Ten-year license suspension
Five or More DUI Offenses
If you have four or more prior DUI convictions, you face penalties that can include:
- Between 2 1/2 and 5 years in state prison
- Possible $50,000 fine
- Lifetime driver’s license suspension
Whether you face 2 1/2 or 5 years in prison can depend upon many different variables such as the circumstances of your DUI like your blood alcohol content, whether you caused any injuries or property damage, and even whether you showed remorse at your DUI criminal hearing. If you have been charged with multiple DUIs, you will want to work with an experienced attorney who can help you mitigate the penalties and advocate for your rights in court.
How a Massachusetts DUI Attorney can Help
Massachusetts DUI penalties are very severe. However, there is typically a wide range of penalties for even a first-time DUI, including alternative disposition. You should talk to an attorney if you have been charged with a DUI and discuss your options and possible defenses. Your attorney can help ensure that you don’t face the most severe penalties.
In addition, you may be able to fight your DUI charges and avoid all penalties completely. Common defenses that can lead to the dismissal of your charges can include attacking the prosecutor’s evidence, questioning the accuracy of a blood alcohol content test, and casting doubt on whether your blood samples were properly handled.
An attorney is also helpful in striking a favorable plea deal and ensuring that your rights are fairly represented.
Under Massachusetts ignition interlock laws, you may need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into your vehicle if you have two or more DUI convictions and are either eligible for a hardship license or are eligible for a license reinstatement.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is generally a device that you install directly into your vehicle’s dashboard. Before starting your vehicle, you will have to blow into the device to start your engine. The device will measure the alcohol on your breath and if it detects alcohol above 0.02 blood alcohol content, you will be prompted to retake the test. A second failed test will result in a lockout of your car which can only be fixed by visiting the vendor of the IID.
In addition, even after your car has successfully started, the device will prompt you to re-take the breath test at various points to ensure your sobriety.
How Long Must You Have the IID?
Generally, if you have two or more DUI convictions and are eligible for a hardship license, you will need to use the IID for the duration of the hardship license as well as an additional two years after your license is reinstated.
If you have two or more DUI convictions and are eligible for license reinstatement, you must use the IID for two years after your license is reinstated.
If you have had any IID infractions or violations during the time you had the IID installed in your car, you may have to leave the IID in your vehicle for a longer period of time.
Do I Need to Install An IID In All My Vehicles?
Yes. You must install an IID in every vehicle that you own, lease, or operate. Keep in mind that this can include your employer’s vehicle. Your driver’s license will be marked with a restriction that only allows you to drive a vehicle equipped with an IID. So you face additional penalties if you are caught driving any other vehicle.
Furthermore, you will be required to pay all the costs and fees of installing and operating the IID including the costs to lease the device, maintain it, and other costs.
How Does the IID Report My Driving?
The IID will record the results of all your breath tests and vehicle activity. Every 30 days you will be required to return to the vendor of the IID for a scheduled maintenance and to upload the data from the device. The vendor will then forward this data to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
When Will the IID be Removed?
Generally, your IID will be removed after completion of the time periods mentioned above. After completion of the designated time period, you must visit a Hearings Officer and obtain a letter allowing you to remove the IID. You will give the letter to the vendor and the vendor will remove the IID.
The only other time that your IID will be removed is getting it removed for bad behavior. Basically, if you have too many IID violations and get your license suspended, you will lose your restricted license and be unable to drive completely.
Contact a Masaachusetts DUI Attorney
If you have a question about ignition interlock devices or any other drunk driving matter, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts DUI attorney.
Most Massachusetts DUI lawyers would tell you not to take a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer is becoming increasingly more difficult to suppress as evidence in Massachusetts. If the police officer or state trooper doesn’t follow the correct protocols then the test may be jeopardized and ultimately suppressed by a judge. However, it is becoming increasingly rare that a judge will suppress a breathalyzer.
To make matters more complicated most people find it very difficult to refuse the breathalyzer. First, let’s be honest when you have been drinking you are not thinking with a clear mind. Second, if you refuse a breathalyzer your license will be suspended. For a first offense DUI your license will be suspended for 180 days. If you fail the breathalyzer your license will be suspended for 30 days. Therefore, most people will opt to take the breathalyzer because they don’t want their license to be suspended for 180 days. And finally, if you ask to talk to a lawyer prior to taking the breathalyzer the police will count that as a refusal. The time that you must wait to get your license back if you decide not to take the breathalyzer is half a year. If you decide to take the breathalyzer and fail is about a month. The Massachusetts legislature changed the law to increase the suspension time if you refuse the breathalyzer. The new law was created to encourage more people to take the breathalyzer.
Without the ability to talk to a DUI lawyer prior to taking the breathalyzer you really don’t know what your rights are. For example, the police don’t have to tell you that your refusal to take a breathalyzer is something that can’t be mentioned at trial. The police also don’t have to tell you that the breathalyzer is usually the strongest piece of drunk driving evidence against a person at trial.
The breathalyzer that Massachusetts DUI lawyers are concerned about at trial is the one that is taken at the police station. There are two types of breathalyzers in Massachusetts. The first type is known as the portable breathalyzer. The portable breathalyzer is usually used during a DUI stop. The machine can be held in the palm of the officer’s hand. The test usually consists of the DUI suspect blowing into a small tube. The portable breathalyzer uses something called fuel cell technology.
The fuel cell technology has not shown to be a reliable way to consistently test the amount of blood alcohol in a person’s blood. One of the reasons is that the portable breathalyzer tends to be affected by the breath alcohol in a person’s mouth. Therefore, the court doesn’t allow portable breathalyzer readings to be entered into evidence. The breathalyzer test that is allowed to be admitted into the evidence is the one that is given at the police station. The stationary breathalyzer uses infrared technology which the courts have ruled is admissible in a drunk driving case.
Even though it is good for your DUI case if you refuse a breathalyzer, it is no surprise to anyone that an increasing number of people are taking the breathalyzer. When the Massachusetts legislature crafted the new laws they wanted to encourage more individuals to take the breathalyzer. It is not easy, but the smart thing to do is to refuse a breathalyzer and call a Massachusetts DUI lawyer right away.
It is important to have a Massachusetts DUI lawyer that is willing to bring your case to trial. There are many things to consider when finding a lawyer. The first thing you want to do is to find a lawyer that you trust. Without trust any other thing about your lawyer is pretty much useless. Second, obviously you want to find a lawyer that will work hard and fight for you. Finally, you want a lawyer that has the criminal law experience to put forth the best defense for you.
What isn’t so clear is what type of skills you should be looking for when choosing a DUI lawyer. There are many skills that make up a great lawyer. However, one very important skill is having a lawyer that is good at trials and willing to try your case. You may think that every criminal lawyer is able and willing to try your DUI case. The truth is that most cases in the criminal court are resolved short of trial. There are many different outcomes that can happen in a criminal case, but the majority of criminal cases do not go to trial.
In hiring a DUI lawyer, you want to make sure that your DUI lawyer knows how to try your case and is willing to try your criminal case. With the economy in disarray even lawyers are trying to find new avenues of income. It is not uncommon nowadays to see lawyers doing criminal cases that did nothing but real estate or contract work in the past. There are also a lot of new lawyers that are finding it difficult to find a job and deciding to start their own practice. If a lawyer doesn’t have the skills or confidence to try your case, the lawyer may talk you into pleading to a DUI case even when it isn’t the best solution.
That is not to say that every case should be tried or that a trial is the best solution to your criminal case. There are certain risks when it comes to trying any criminal case. And just because a lawyer is talking to you about pleading to your DUI case that doesn’t mean he or she is a bad lawyer. The key is to hire a lawyer with good trial experience so that you can have the option of taking your case to trial if you choose to do so.
When you are charged with a DUI case it is very difficult if not impossible to get the case dismissed. District Attorneys in Massachusetts are so afraid of bad press that many offices won’t dismiss DUI cases even if it is warranted. I have seen Assistant District Attorneys refuse to dismiss a case even if the person took a breathalyzer and has the breathalyzer reading of .05. Even if your breathalyzer reading was below the legal limit, the prosecutor isn’t required by law to dismiss the case and many do not dismiss the case.
It is important to you to understand that decisions that you make in your DUI case are likely to be permanent. Therefore, you need a lawyer that will fight for you and work hard for your best interest. The last thing you want is to have a lawyer talk you into a plea just to avoid taking your case to trial.
Massachusetts DUI laws have gotten a lot stricter under the Melanie laws. In 2006, the Massachusetts legislature decided to enact the Melanie laws. The laws were named after Melanie Powell then a 13 year old girl that was killed by a repeat DUI offender on her way to get ice cream. The Melanie Powell case has significantly changed the landscape of Massachusetts DUI laws.
Under the new rules, three major things happened to MassachusettsDUI laws. First, Melanie’s Law increased the penalties for Massachusetts DUI offenders, especially for repeat offenders. The second thing that Melanie ‘s law did was that it was add six new categories of offenses to Massachusetts DUI laws. The new categories included:
Employing a person with a suspended or is unlicensed to operate a motor vehicle
Allow a suspended or unlicensed person to operate a motor vehicle
Child endangerment during an DUI
Being charged with a DUI while your license is suspended for a DUI
Manslaughter by motor vehicle
Larceny of registration plate
Ignition interlock device offense, and
Motor vehicle homicide
Prior to the Melanie’s laws a defendant was allowed to get a temporary license while the DUI case was pending. Melanie’s law has eliminated the 15 day temporary license. Under the new laws, if you are convicted of a 3rd offense DUI or any offense after your 3rd offense, the registry is allowed to cancel your registration and plates. Even worse if you are convicted of a 4th offense DUI, the government or the prosecutor is allowed to seek the forfeiture of your car.
Some of the new offenses that were created out of Melanie’s laws were unexpected. One of these laws was the charge of employing a person that is unlicensed or has a license that is suspended to operate a motor vehicle. The reason why this charge was unexpected is that it doesn’t have anything to do with DUIs at all. Under this charge, the employer can be charged with a criminal offense if he is allowing a person that is unlicensed or has a license that is suspended drive. The operator doesn’t actually have to be drunk or even have been drinking. On a first offense an employer can face up to a $500 fine. If an employer is a repeat offender, the employer could face up to 1 year in the house of corrections or a $1,000 fine. The employer can also have his or her license to be suspended for up to 1 year.
The new laws don’t just punish employers who allow a person that has a suspended license or unlicensed person to drive, but also punishes any person that allows a person that has a suspended license or is unlicensed to drive. If a person who is not an employer allows a person that is unlicensed or has a suspended license drive his or her car, then the person can face some serious penalties. For a first offense, the person could face up to 1 year in the house of corrections or a $500 fine. Now, once again the person who is driving the car doesn’t actually have to be drunk, drinking, or even charged with a DUI.
The new laws of punishing employers or anyone for allowing an unlicensed person or a person with a suspended license drive his or her car seems to be an odd creation out of the Melanie laws. The reason is that these are not alcohol related offenses. On the other hand, these laws show that Massachusetts are attempting to make the streets safer from all violators. Not only does Massachusetts have DUI laws that go after the offenders, but also those individuals that allow the offenders to drive their car.