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Drunk Driving Accidents in Massachusetts Costing More than $800M

There were nearly 120 people who were killed in alcohol-related car accidents in Boston and elsewhere in the state of Massachusetts in 2009.

In the state, there were more than 22,000 people who were busted for a third-time drunk driving offense in 2009. To make matters even worse, there were nearly 5,000 who were busted for their fifth-time offense. These kinds of accidents are completely preventable, yet residents and visitors in the area continue to consume alcohol and jump behind the wheel of a motor vehicles. It’s like there’s a complete disregard to the dangers and to human life.
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These accidents weren’t only deadly. They were costly, too! Drunk driving accidents cost the state nearly $810 million a year. To help to reduce these costs and to help to keep our roadways safe, safe driving experts suggest that lawmakers in the state consider making their repeat offender interlock law mandatory for all offenders. Right now, if you have two or more OUI convictions, you will need to have an Alcohol Detecting Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car as a condition of driver’s license reinstatement or Hardship License. Experts recommend that even first-time offenders should have to use ignition interlocks.

Our Boston drunk driving car accident attorneys understand that the summer driving season is a common time for us to see alcohol-related car accidents on our roadways. Unfortunately, these accidents oftentimes produce fatal results. Most drivers admit to understanding the dangers of drinking and driving, but these kinds of accidents still account for about a third of all accidents nationwide.

In the state of Massachusetts, drivers can be either fined or sent to jail if they’re busted driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers is .08 percent. For drivers under the age of 18, the legal BAC limit in .08 percent. Many times, an OUI sentence largely depends on the prior OUI sentences.

Massachusetts Drunk Driving Laws:

First Offense: A fine of up to $5,000. No more than 2 and a half years in jail. A 1-year driver’s license suspension.

Second Offense: A fine of up to $10,000. No more than 2 and a half years in jail. A 2-year driver’s license suspension.

Third Offense: Felony. A fine of up to $15,000. Up to 5 years in prison. An 8-year driver’s license suspension.

Fourth Offense: Felony. A fine of up to $25,000. Up to 5 years in prison. A 10-year driver’s license suspension.

Fifth Offense: A fine of up to $50,000. Up to 5 years in prison. A potential lifetime jail sentence.

“It seems it may even be more effective than harsher sentences,” said Robert Hedlund, a Weymouth Republican.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC is here to offer help to accident victims and their families. If you’ve been in an accident in Cape Cod, Boston or elsewhere in the state, call 1-888-367-2900 to set up a free appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Increased Risks for Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Massachusetts among Repeat Offenders, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, May 25, 2012

Loophole Allowing Drunk Driving Car Accidents in Cape Cod and Elsewhere?, Boston Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer Blog, May 22, 2012