Melanie's Law- Massachusetts

The Massachusetts legislature passed “Melanie’s Law” in October 2005, which significantly enhanced OUI penalties and also created new criminal offenses related to operating under the influence. Many of the provisions under this law are retroactive, meaning they even apply to people who were convicted of OUI offenses decades ago and haven’t had any problems since! Specifically, after 2006, anyone applying for a hardship license, license reinstatement, or even license renewal who has a conviction for an OUI-2nd or subsequent offense is now required to have an interlock ignition device installed in his/her car before the license will issue- even if the conviction was from decades before Melanie’s Law was passed!

NEW CRIMINAL OFFENSES UNDER MELANIE’S LAW:

  • OUI- Manslaughter- If you are convicted of committing manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 5 years in state prison, up to 25 years, fines up to $25,000, and a license loss period of 15 years to life.
  • Operating with a Suspended License from OUI (OAS for OUI)- If you are convicted of Operating with a Suspended/Revoked License, and that suspension or revocation is from a previous OUI, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 60 days, up to 2 ½ years, and a 1 year license loss.
  • Operating Under the Influence with a Suspended License for OUI- If you are convicted of Operating Under the Influence, and at the time of such operation your license was suspended for a previous OUI offense, you are facing a mandatory minimum jail sentence of one year, and fines between $2,500 and $10,000. 
  • Child Endangerment by Operating Under the Influence- If you are convicted of operating under the influence while a child under the age of fourteen is in the car, you face a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 90 days, up to 2 ½ years, and a one year license loss. A second conviction for this offense is a felony and requires a minimum mandatory 6 month jail sentence, up to 5 years in state prison, and a 3 year license loss.
  • Emloying a person with a Suspended License to Operate a Motor Vehicle- the potential penalty for a first offense is up $500 fine, while a second or subsequent offense carries up to $1000 fine and 1 year in jail.
  • Allowing a Person to Operate your Car, Knowing that person is unlicensed- If you are convicted of allowing a person to operate your car, knowing that the person is unlicensed or has a suspended license, you are facing a $500 fine and up to 1 year in jail, while a second or subsequent conviction carries a $1000 fine and up to 2 ½ years in jail.
  • Allowing a Person with Interlock Ignition restriction to Operate your Car- If you are convicted of allowing a person with an interlock ignition restriction to operate your car without the interlock ignition device installed, you face up to $500 fine and 1 year in jail., while a second or subsequent conviction carries a $1000 fine and up to 2 ½ years in jail.
Contact my office if you've been charged with a Massachusetts OUI or any other criminal offense. I am available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for your free initial phone consultation.

Boston DUI Defense Lawyer

Urbelis Law, LLC
98 North Washington St.
Suite 403
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: (617) 830-2188