Friday night! One of my favorite nights of the week. Date night. A chance to unwind, a chance to catch up with my wife. An opportunity to relax over dinner…and a couple of drinks.

Therein lies the potential problem. After a particularly difficult week I look forward to going to my favorite eating/drinking establishment. As we walk in the bartender, who is a friend of ours, begins to make our drinks: Vesper Martini’s…glass filled to the brim.

What if, in a moment of exuberance, we order one more? Or perhaps we order a glass of wine. Then after dinner, drive home.

What if, I was a little too tired and a little too tipsy?

What if, in my rear view mirror I see the dreaded flashing blue lights.

What if…what if my nightmare comes true?

One night after dinner we were pulled over at a drunk driving checkpoint. Thankfully, that was not a martini night. But…what if…?

If the unthinkable happens DO NOT PANIC. It is not the end of the world as you know it. As you now see, the MA drunk driving laws are complex. Complexity cuts both ways. If you are pulled over and subsequently charged…get a lawyer…right away! You have no time to waste, but you do have time to respond to a charge with competent legal counsel. This is, perhaps the most important thing you can do.

What ifs sometimes happen. When they do…be prepared!


Massachusetts has, what amounts to, a zero tolerance policy if you are under 21 years old. You will fail the test if you record a .02 on a breath test. Essentially, if you have any alcohol whatsoever, you will fail the test. Consequences of failure? Loss of license for 180 days.

Over 21? The threshold for failure is .08. However, if you do fail the consequences are loss of license for 30 days or until the case is disposed of either by trial, dismissal or a plea. You should also know that the vehicle will be impounded for 12 hours following arrest. Don’t bother having a friend or family member try to pick up your car; it won’t work. Your car will remain in police custody for 12 full hours.

The Draconian measures of the current Drunk Driving rules are not at all pleasant. For example, if you are over 21 and are convicted of your first offense you may lose your license for one year and be on probation for three years. There is also the possibility of incarceration for up to 2.5 years.

There is a program for first offenders that is know as the “24D” program. If you agree to enroll in an approved alcohol education program license loss is 45 – 90 days. In addition, you can be eligible for a 12 hour Hardship License to get to work or school during the loss of license period.

Not only is all of this an awful position to be in, the fact is that a drunk driving conviction stays with you almost forever. The second, and subsequent offense, get more and more severe.

The short story is simply this: If you are stopped on a drunk driving charge, going it alone can be a disaster! Be sure to get counsel right away.

Welcome to the Drunk Driving Defense blog! My intention in creating this blog is to begin a dialogue. We will be discussing issues around Massachusetts drunk driving laws. Who should be here? Everyone! This is a blog for attorneys to discuss the issue and for layman to learn about this issue. All points of view are encouraged and welcomed Looking forward to chatting with you!!