How Long Will My Driver's License Suspension Last After an OUI?

Understand Your OUI Rights.

For most people, a driver's license suspension has an enormously negative impact on day-to-day life.  You may need your car to get to work, buy groceries, take care of your kids, report to the court-assigned alcohol education program, and more.

If you’ve been arrested, charged, or convicted for OUI, there are a whole range of factors that play into the amount of time you could be without your license. Here are a few guidelines to review if you’ve had your license suspended in Massachusetts:

Breathalyzer Failure

Registering a BAC of .08% (or of .02% if you are under 21) results in an automatic driver's license suspension.  How long will depend upon how old you are when you fail the test:

  • Over 21: 30 days
  • 18-21: 30 days plus 180-day JOL Suspension
  • Under 18: 30 days plus 1-year JOL Suspension

This driver's license suspension is separate from those for OUI conviction, and will often conclude long before the case is resolved.  For drivers under 21, participation in a Youth Alcohol Program may enable you to “waive” the 180-day portion of the suspension (or reduce it to 180 days from 1 year if you are under 18).

Breathalyzer Refusal

The “Implied Consent” law in Massachusetts requires you to participate in a chemical analysis of your breath or blood upon being arrested and charged with OUI.  Refusing to participate in such a test will result in a mandatory statutory loss of your license, effective immediately. The duration depends upon your age and how many prior OUIs are on your driving record:


Driver Over 21

Driver 18-21

Driver Under 18

No prior OUI

180 days

3 years +180 days

4 years

1 Prior OUI

3 years

3 years +180 days

4 years

2 Prior OUIs

5 years

5 years +180 days

6 years

3+ Prior OUIs




Conviction for OUI

These suspensions are put in place only once you are found guilty of OUI in court.  If you fight your case and win, you won’t have to worry about them—you can keep your license.  However, if you fight and lose in court or plead guilty, the length of your driver's license suspension will depend on whether this is a first or subsequent offense:

  • 1st Offense: 45 days to 1 year (often 45 days)
  • 2nd Offense: 2 years
  • 3rd Offense: 8 years
  • 4th offense: 10 years
  • 5th offense: Lifetime

Additional Factors:

Operating After Suspension — 1 year
  • The hardship of losing a driver’s license can cause some people to drive without a valid license.  If you do, you can be charged with OAS and face an additional suspension.
Serious Bodily Injury — 2 years
  • When OUI results in serious injury to another person, the license suspension upon conviction is 2 years.
Child Endangerment — 1 year (first offense), 3 years (subsequent offenses)
  • OUI Child Endangerment charges are for driving under the influence of alcohol while a child under 14 is in the vehicle.

Penalties Can Be Fought!

Not all suspensions play out by standard durations.  Consult a Massachusetts OUI lawyer to see how you can get a suspension hearing, appeal a driver's license suspension, reduce it, apply for a Massachusetts hardship license, or fight the case in court.

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Call DUI Attorney Joseph J Higgins for a free case evaluation today at 508-930-4273