In 2011, Massachusetts had 114 drunk driving-related fatalities. Though drunk driving-related fatalities made up 34% of all traffic deaths that year, the state saw a 6.6% decrease in alcohol-related traffic fatalities from the year before. To further decrease drunk driving-related crashes, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) continuously works to expand Massachusetts’s ignition interlock law to include all convicted offenders. Currently, ignition interlocks are only required for repeat offenders in Massachusetts.
Anyone who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher in Massachusetts is charged with driving under the influence (DUI). If convicted, drunk drivers will face a fine, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and alcohol education and/or treatment.
- 1st Offense: $500-$5,000; up to 2 ½ years in jail; 1-year license suspension
- 2nd Offense: $600-$10,000 fine; 60 days to 2 ½ years in jail; 2-year license suspension
- 3rd Offense: $1,000-$15,000 fine; 180 days to 2 ½ years in jail or or 2 ½ to 5 years in state prison; 8-year license suspension
- 4th Offense: $1,500-$25,000; 2 to 2 ½ years in jail or 2 ½ to 5 years in state prison; 10-year license suspension
- 5th and Subsequent Offenses: $2,000-$50,000 fine; at least 2 ½ years in jail or or 2 ½ to 5 years in state prison; permanent license revocation
If the drunk driver committed the offense while passenger under the age of 14 was in the vehicle, he or she will be charged with DUI Child Endangerment, punishable by a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and 90 days to 2 ½ years in jail after a first offense and a fine of $5,000 to $10,000 and 6 months to 2 ½ years in jail after a second offense.
Ignition Interlock Laws
All repeat drunk driving offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle in order to obtain their driver’s license. Offenders must keep the device installed for 2 years.