In October 2005 the Massachusetts passed landmark legislation that is most commonly known as “Melanie's Law.” The law significantly altered OUI/DUI Penalties and created new criminal offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Most of the new provisions that were included in Melanie's Law apply retroactively, meaning if you are convicted of a new OUI/DUI after the law's enactment you are subject to the enhanced penalties. The most impact the law has had on people across the Commonwealth is that if you are convicted of a 2nd or Subsequent OUI/DUI, you are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device in any car that you lease own or operate. Even if your fist OUI/DUI was from 10, 20 or 30 years before Melanie's Law was enacted, you will now need the interlock device for not less then two years!
New Criminal Offenses Included in Melanie's Law:
- Employing a Person with a Suspended License – First Offense Conviction carries a possible monitary penalty of up to $500.00. If convicted for a second or subsequent offense you could face up to a $1000.00 fine and 1 year in Jail.
- Operating Under the Influence With a Suspended License for OUI – If you are pulled over while your license is currently suspended for an OUI/DUI conviction and you are convicted of OUI/DUI there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year and monitary fines betwen $2,500.00 and $10,000.00.
- Operating After Suspension for OUI/DUI – If you are pulled over and your license is suspended for an OUI/DUI conviction, you face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 60 days that can go up to 2.5 years. In addition to the possible jail sentence, your driver's license will be suspended for an additional one year.
- Manslaughter While OUI – If you are convicted of committing manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs there is a new mandatory minimum state prison sentence of five years up to 25 years, fines up to $25,000.00 and a license suspension of 15 years. If you have a prior OUI/DUI conviction, your license will be suspended for life.
- Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs Child Endangerment – If you are found guilty of OUI/DUI while a child under the age of fourteen (14) was in the car, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 90 days that goes up to 2.5 years. You will also have a one year license suspension. If you have a subsequent conviction of this charge there is a mandatory minimum six month jail sentence up to possible five years in state prison. A subsequent conviction will result in a three year license suspension.
- Allowing a Person with an Interlock Restriction to Operate your Car without an Ignition Interlock Device – If you are convicted of allowing a person who has an ignition interlock device restriction to operate your vehicle that is not equiped with the ignition interlock device, you can face up to 1 year in jail and a $500.00 fine. If you are convicted of a second of subsequent offense you can face up to 2.5 years in jail and a $1000.00 fine.
- Knowingly Allowing an Unlicensed Person to Operate Your Motor Vehicle – If you are convicted of allowing a person to operate your motor vehicle and found to have known the person was unlicensed or a suspended license, you can be sentenced to one year in jail and up to a $500.00 fine. If you are convicted of a second or subseqent offense you can be sentenced to 2.5 years in jail and a $1000.00 fine. The Registry of Motor Vehicles if notified that your vehicle was used by an unlicensed operator will schedule a Complaint Regulatory Hearing with you in which they can revoke your vehicle's registration for up to 30 days.
If you are charged with offenses that involve OUI/DUI or driving there are often collateral consequences tied to the outcome of the case. If you are concerend that your case could result in a license suspension or revocation you need an attorney knowledgeable about the license consequences. Attorney Gilman is available 24/7 for a Free Case Consultation.