If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of operating under the influence of alcohol, you face license suspension, heavy fines and even possible jail time.
An OUI conviction can follow you and disrupt your plans for the future. However, there is an option to help mitigate the consequences for a first-time offender.
About OUI in Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts works to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. Penalties, even for someone charged with OUI for the first time, are harsh. They include loss of driving privileges for up to a year, fines of up to $5,000 and possible jail time of up to two and a half years.
If you are planning to enter certain professions such as education or law, for example, an OUI may disqualify you from obtaining the certification you need. If you are interested in a new job, remember that employers routinely perform background checks. Even if you are highly qualified, the OUI on your record may cause a recruiter to pass you by in favor of an applicant with a clean record who appears more trustworthy. Another area of concern is your auto insurance. Due to the OUI conviction, your insurer may see you as a high-risk driver and either cancel your policy or provide a new one at a much higher rate.
Assistance from Section 24D
As a first-time offender, you may qualify for the “24D” program of education, probation and rehabilitation. During a probationary period of not more than two years, you would attend a driver alcohol education program along with a rehabilitation program, if needed. In addition, you could expect the restoration of your driving privileges in 45 to 90 days. The 24D program could provide the best outcome for your case and help you keep an OUI conviction from disrupting your future plans.