Drunk driving―or operating under the influence (OUI)―is a serious crime in Massachusetts. You will not only face penalties from the courts but you will also face penalties by the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Between the two, you could face license suspension, steep fines, and even jail.
Massachusetts OUI Defined
Massachusetts uses your blood alcohol content (BAC) to determine whether you're legally driving under the influence. Below are the BAC limits and their corresponding ages or qualifiers:
•0.08% or higher―Drivers 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles.
•0.04% or higher―Drivers operating commercial vehicles.
•0.02% or higher―Drivers younger than 21 years old.
Additional Drug and Alcohol Crimes
Massachusetts mandates additional drug- and alcohol-related laws, beyond typical OUI laws.
Open Container Law
It's illegal to operate a motor vehicle with an open container of alcohol anywhere in the vehicle, no matter who's holding it. This means you can't drive with an empty liquor bottle in your backseat, nor have a passenger drinking a can of beer.
Break this law and you face a $100 - $500 fine.
Other Medications and Drugs
You can also expect an officer to pull you over if any prescription, illegal drug, or over-the-counter medication is affecting your ability to drive. Depending on factors specific to your case, you could face an OUI conviction just as you would for drunk driving.
Furthermore, the state will revoke your learner's permit or driver's license for any drug conviction. Revocation periods vary between 1 year and 5 years.