Underage drivers and drunk driving charges

Massachusetts is a “zero tolerance” state regarding underage drinking and driving. A driver under age 21 who registers at .02 or higher in a breathalyzer test will lose their license for 30 days. Refusing the breath test will result in three years license suspension.

Penalties for underage OUI

Any driver under 21 who is convicted of or pleas to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can face extreme penalties, including:

  • Any underage driver who registers at .02 or higher while operating a vehicle will have a 30-day license suspension, and a 210-day suspension if they plea to the charges or are convicted, along with more than $2,500 in fees and fines and the requirement to complete an alcohol treatment program, with attendance once weekly for 16 weeks. 
  • If a driver is under 21 and registers at .20 BAC will be required to enroll in and complete a 14 day inpatient alcohol program.
  • A law enforcement officer will take the learner’s permit or driver’s license and notify the RMV that the license was suspended. The RMV will issue a Youth Alcohol Program suspension for 1 year if the operator is under 18-years of age and 180-days if 18 or older, which continues after the 30-day suspension is completed.  
  • If found “not guilty” of OUI, the RMV will not just reinstate the driver’s license. The Youth Alcohol Program suspension is a separate matter that a skilled underage OUI lawyer must address.
  • If registering at .08 or more in the breath test, an underage driver will face the standard OUI penalties, which include fines up to $5,000, jail time up to 2 ½ years, and one year driver’s license suspension. Or the alternative disposition of probation for one year, 210 day license suspension and program requirement.
  • Refusing the breath test: A breath test refusal will lead to license or learner’s permit suspension or revocation for three years. 
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Police officer doing a sobriety test on a woman

License suspension for underage drivers

Underage drivers are held to a higher standard concerning alcohol consumption and driving. Any young driver who blows .02 or higher will face driver’s license suspension. A young driver will face a one year license suspension, which may be reduced to 210 days suspension and YAP program assignment. For a second offense, driving privileges are suspended for two years, and the driver, once the license is restored, will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed, pass the learner’s permit examination again, as well as the road test. For a third offense, driver’s license suspension is for 8 years.

False breathalyzer results

The faster our OUI attorneys move into action, the better. Blowing .02 BAC on the breathalyzer could be the result of a medical condition rather than alcohol consumption, or the device may have registered incorrectly due to a fault or failure to properly calibrate the device. Specific medications can cause false breathalyzer results, including asthma medication, OTC medications, mouthwash, breath spray, cough or cold medications, topical pain relievers and others. 

Driver’s license reinstatement

At Gilman Law, our founder, Matthew Gilman, formerly worked as an RMV Hearing Officer. His experience at the agency allows him to understand how to act and get results. If you or your child has a license suspension, the situation needs to be resolved as quickly as possible. 

We offer payment plans, and flat fees for several services. Call us for a free initial case evaluation. You can expect honest communication, and the legal guidance you need to navigate both the criminal OUI case and the RMV.

Speak to us immediately so the process of seeking license reinstatement can be initiated – we are known for getting results.

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Protecting the rights of under-21 drivers in Massachusetts – Gilman Law

At Gilman Law, our legal team protects the rights of underage drivers accused of operating a vehicle while under the influence. We have achieved remarkable results for our clients over the years, and are one of the premier license suspension law firms in Massachusetts. If you or your son or daughter has been arrested and charged with OUI, your first call should be to our firm. 

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