Northampton DUI Lawyer
It is illegal to drive with a BAC, "Blood Alcohol Content" of .08% or higher in Northampton Massachusetts. A BAC of .08% is considered "impaired" in all states. A DUI in Massachusetts is also referred to as an OUI, "Operating Under the Influence".
In 2005 Massachusetts enacted "Melanie's Law," which was set into motion to enhance penalties for offenders of OUI's. Higher penalties are received for OUI if you have already been charged with a previous OUI, and/or you are driving under a suspension. This law allows the offender to be charged with two crimes at once. It has also provided guidelines for endangering a child while driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are found to be under the influence of Alcohol, and driving with a child 14 years of age or younger, you will potentially be charged with two crimes. Melanie's Law allows for the registration of an offender's plates to be canceled for a 3rd DUI charge. Additionally for a 4th DUI charge, your vehicle can be forfeited by a District Attorney.
Melanie's Law also created a charge of Manslaughter by Motor Vehicle. This charge occurs if a driver commits manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol. A minimum 5 year mandatory jail sentence, with a maximum of 20 years behind bars is Massachusetts penalty for this crime, as well as a loss of the offenders license for 15 years to life.
Drivers who receive a second or subsequent DUI violation can no longer serve an additional one year suspension in lieu of obtaining an ignition interlock device. Drivers are required to install ignition interlock on all vehicles owned (including leased) before driving privileges can be restored.
Refusal of Breath or Chemical Testing
Suspensions for individuals who refuse to submit to breath or chemical testing may be increased. Breath or chemical testing may now be required for individuals who are arrested for driving under a DUI-related suspension or driving without an ignition interlock device.