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A Massachusetts DUI may result in fines and other penalties, including prison time and potential license suspension. Even a single DUI may also drive up your insurance premiums or force you to seek out coverage from a high-risk provider. Understanding how insurers view DUIs in Massachusetts may help you navigate finding affordable coverage after a conviction.
DUI laws in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, charges for driving under the influence may be referred to as a DUI, DWI (driving while intoxicated) or OUI (operating under the influence). The state’s OUI laws consider a non-commercial driver over the age of 21 legally drunk if they have a blood alcohol level higher than .08 percent. Commercial vehicle drivers are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is higher than .04 percent. Drivers under 21 only need to have a blood-alcohol level of .02 to be considered drunk.
The penalties for driving under the influence in Massachusetts may include the following:
- First offense: First offenders may face imprisonment for up to 2.5 years, a fine from $500-$5,000 and driver’s license suspension of one year.
- Second offense: Drivers may face jail time up to 2.5 years, a fine of $600-$10,000 and driver’s license revocation for two years.
- Third offense: The offender may face jail time of up to five years, a fine of $1,000-$15,000 and driver’s license revocation of eight years.
- Fourth offense: The offender may face imprisonment for up to 2.5 years, a fine of $1,500-$25,000 and driver’s license suspension of up to 10 years.
- Fifth and subsequent offenses: The offender may face imprisonment for at least 2.5 years, with imprisonment in state prison for up to five years, a fine of $2,000 to $50,000 and driver’s license revocation for life.
Other potential penalties for a DUI or OUI conviction in Massachusetts include a mandatory driver’s education course, installation of an ignition lock device and community service.
How a DUI affects your car insurance in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, an OUI is considered a criminal offense and is illegal. If you are convicted of an OUI, insurance companies will likely view you as a high-risk driver. Not all Massachusetts car insurance companies will insure drivers with OUI convictions, which means you may need to find a new company and could be limited in what companies will offer you coverage.
On average, drivers in Massachusetts convicted of drunk driving will pay 90 percent more for full coverage car insurance compared to drivers with a clean driving record. As you can see below, this is significantly more than the national average premium increase.
|Pre-DUI||Post DUI||Percent increase|
Finding car insurance after a DUI in Massachusetts
Finding car insurance after a Massachusetts OUI or DUI may be difficult. Once you are convicted of an OUI, car insurance companies typically see you as a high-risk driver, meaning you will likely pay higher premiums than drivers with clean records.
Comparing quotes from various carriers may help you find the most affordable coverage possible after a DUI or OUI. Although auto insurance companies will inevitably see any recent DUIs on your record when evaluating your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), being honest about any convictions during the quoting process is likely the quickest way to see which carriers may offer you coverage and at what rate.
|Car insurance company||Avg. annual full coverage premium post-DUI|
Frequently asked questions
If you have been convicted of a DUI or OUI in Massachusetts, you may be able to lower your car insurance premium by comparing quotes from other carriers and looking for applicable discounts. Some discounts, like those for paperless billing or paying your premium in full, may be easy to earn even if you have a less-than-perfect driving history. Maintaining a clean driving record moving forward may also help bring your rates down. Enrolling in a telematics program may earn you a discount and encourage you to improve your driving habits.
In Massachusetts, an OUI conviction stays on your driving record forever in most cases. However, most insurance carriers only consider convictions within the last 10 years when determining your premium. Maintaining a clean driving record may eventually help bring your premium back down.
The cheapest car insurance company for you will likely depend on the nature of your DUI conviction as well as your other personal rating factors. Comparing quotes from various providers may help you see which company offers the cheapest rates for your individual circumstances.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base) and single DUI conviction.