Every state has specific regulations on blood alcohol limits and punishment for drunk driving. There can be more than one set of guidelines and varying penalties differing in severity. In this blog is an overview of Massachusetts drunk driving laws.

Definition of Legally Drunk

In the state of Massachusetts, blood alcohol limits vary by age and type of vehicle. Commercial drivers are considered legally drunk with a blood alcohol level of .04 or greater. The maximum for non-commercial drivers over 21 years of age is .08 or higher. For persons under age 21, the maximum is .02. If you are found to be legally drunk while operating a automobile, there are many different penalties that may be imposed.

Overview Of Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws

The consequences for drunk driving are based on the number of crimes and other circumstances. It can include prison time, monetary fines, and suspension of your drivers license.

Offense Prison Time and Fines License Suspension
1st Offense up to 2.5 years and/or a $500-$5,000 fine 45-90 days
2nd Offense 60 days to 2.5 years and a $600-$10,000 fine 2 years
(reinstatement possible after 1 years)
3rd Offense 180 days to 2.5 years and a $1,000-$15,000 fine
2.5-5 years in a state prison and $1,000 to $15,000 fine
8 years
(reinstatement possible after 2 years)
4th Offense 2-2.5 years and a $1,500 to $25,000 fine
2.5 to 5 years in a state prison and a $1,500 to $25,000 fine
10 years
(reinstatement possible after 5 years)
5th or More Offense at least 2.5 years
2.5 to 5 years in a state prison and a $2,000 to $50,000 fine
Lifetime Revocation

On top of the ones noted above, additional consequences may apply to particular types of drivers.

  • Commercial Drivers
    Commercial drivers found guilty of drunk driving are forbidden from driving commercial vehicles for at least 1 year. If hazardous materials were transported in the vehicle during the offense, this time frame is increased to 3 years. Any future drunk driving can lead to lifetime suspension from driving commercial vehicles (although this sentence may be lowered to 10 years).
  • Young Drivers
    Younger drivers are given a 210-day suspension of their license on their 1st offense. They can also be ordered to complete education or alcohol prevention programs based on their age and blood alcohol level.

Other Details on Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws

Drunk driving can lead to even more severe consequences in cases involving severe bodily injury or death to an individual or if a child under the age of 14 is present in the vehicle. Massachusetts drunk driving laws are continually under debate and may change as new laws are approved. The details in this blog are only an overview, should not be interpreted as legal advice, and is subject to change without notice. Consult with a lawyer for up to date laws and legal guidance if you are involved in a drunk driving case.