Law Office of Richard A. Mulhearn, P.C.

Worcester Melanie's Law Attorney

License Suspensions and Melanie's Law

"Melanie's Law" was enacted on October 28, 2005. Its purpose and effect was to increase the penalties and sanctions for those charged with operating under the influence (OUI) in Massachusetts. It dramatically increased the license suspensions for those who refuse to take a breathalyzer test or blood test (chemical test refusals). There is no hardship license for chemical test refusal suspensions. Chemical test refusal suspensions do not run concurrent with any conviction suspensions. Instead, any license suspension from a conviction starts "on and after" any chemical test refusal suspension.

License Suspensions for Chemical Test Refusal (Breath or Blood)

  • First Offense - 180 Days
  • Second Offense - 3 Years
  • Third Offense - 5 Years
  • Fourth or more - Lifetime

License Suspension for Failing Chemical Test - .08 or Above

  • 30 Days, regardless of the offense charged.

Enhanced Penalties for Drivers Under Age 21

The law provides for more severe license suspensions for drivers under age 21.

For drivers age 18 to 21, the chemical test refusal suspensions are:

  • First Offense - 3 Years + 180 Days
  • Second Offense - 3 Years + 180 Days
  • Third Offense - 5 Years + 180 days
  • Fourth or more - Lifetime

For drivers under age 18, chemical test refusal suspensions are:

  • First Offense - 3 Years + 1 Year
  • Second Offense - 3 Years + 1 Year
  • Third Offense - 5 Years + 1 Year
  • Fourth or more - Lifetime

Massachusetts Breathalyzer Lawyer

The additional suspensions for drivers under age 21 also apply if they fail the breath test or chemical test. Failing is .02 or above. The suspensions apply whether you are found guilty or not. 180 days of the suspension can be waived upon entry into a youth alcohol program.

Reinstatement of License if You Win Your Case

If you win your OUI case with a dismissal or not guilty, the law provides that the judge may order your license to be reinstated. This is an incentive to hire a drunk driving attorney to fight your case.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Another provision of Melanie's Law was the requirement that drivers with more than one OUI offense have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

This is another incentive to hire a drunk driving attorney to fight your case, whether you are facing a first offense or a multiple offense. If you win your case, there is no ignition interlock device requirement.

Contact us by e-mail or call 508-753-9999 (toll-free at 866-528-9032).


At the Law Office of Richard A. Mulhearn, P.C., in Worcester, we represent individuals throughout Worcester County and the state of Massachusetts who have been charged with drinking and driving, including Shrewsbury, Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Auburn, Holden, West Boylston, Sterling, Fitchburg, Leominster, Rutland, Webster, Spencer, Marlborough, Hudson, Oxford, Sutton, Douglas, Whitinsville, Milford, Hopedale, Uxbridge, Northbridge, Southborough, East Brookfield, Princeton, Paxton, Hubbardston and Worcester.