The Difference Between OUI vs. DUI in Massachusetts

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Blog, Drunk Driving, DUI, OUI

Navigating the nuances of a driving charge can be incredibly complex. Attorney John B. Seed clarifies the confusion by examining the difference between OUI vs. DUI in Massachusetts. Whether you’re from the state or get charged while visiting, knowing your rights is essential to determine the most appropriate path forward.

And if you’re finding yourself in a predicament involving an OUI or DUI, you can turn to Attorney John B. Seed in New Bradford, MA, for exceptional, experienced OUI/DUI defense.

What Is an OUI?

OUI is defined in Massachusetts as operating a motor vehicle on the public road while intoxicated at less than .08% blood alcohol content. In addition, an OUI (operating under the influence) charge can also refer to someone driving high while impaired by stimulants or depressants.

The penalties for an OUI offense in Massachusetts are severe. Under Title XIV, Chapter 90, which details all matters regarding operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, are governed with a rigorous approach by state law. With the passage of Melanie’s Law  in 2005, there has been a larger emphasis on making sure those who are charged face firm penalties.

How can an OUI charge impact my life?

First-time offenders can face up to 2 ½ years in jail, up to $5,000 in fines, and a year without a driver’s license.
Second offenders can face up to 2 ½ years in jail, up to $10,000 in fines, and two years without a driver’s license.
Third-time offenders can face up to 2 ½ years in jail, up to $15,000 in fines, and eight years without a driver’s license.

What Is a DUI?

It’s important to note that an OUI charge is often a misdemeanor charge, while a DUI (driving under the influence) is a felony. If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you must seek legal assistance ( immediately. The prosecution has to prove three things in order for them to convict:

That you were, in fact, operating the vehicle.
That you were intoxicated or under the influence at the time of using the vehicle.
That you were driving on a public road or highway.

In addition, the prosecution must also prove that you were driving negligently and that you are at fault for the injury or death of another person.

What Is the Difference Between an OUI & DUI?

In Massachusetts, a charge related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated is usually considered an OUI. The first and second OUI offenses are misdemeanors, while the third offense is a felony.

Another critical distinction between OUI and DUI offenses? A DUI involves physical harm to another person — these charges can be severe in situations where another person is injured. Harsh punishments, such as prison time, are typically given to those whose decision to drive while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol results in another person obtaining a severe injury from the incident, such as a limb loss.

Let Attorney John B. Seed Fight For You

Attorney John B. Seed served as a Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney — this gives him the unique perspective of knowing exactly how the other side of the court operates. He understands how severe the state of Massachusetts can be when it comes to DUI/OUI offenses. Attorney John B. Seed and his legal team will fight tirelessly to save your license from serving jail time and avoiding conviction altogether.If you live near Brighton, New Bedford, Boston, or Bristol County, MA, and would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our law office today.