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In October of 2005 Melanie's Law was signed and made effective by the Massachusetts state legislature. The law increases penalties and sanctions for people who operate under the influence (OUI) in Massachusetts. The enhanced punishments are discussed in other DUI pages in this website. Melanie's Law also created several new criminal offenses for OUI offenders. Those crimes are as follows:1. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 12 Violations Employing a Person With a Suspended License to Operate a Motor Vehicle
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 12 makes it a crime to employ anyone to operate a motor vehicle who has a suspended license. First offenders are subject to a five hundred dollar fine. Second and subsequent offenders can be fined up to one thousand dollars and incarcerated in a house of correction for 1 year.Permitting Someone to Operate Your Car Knowing He is Unlicensed
G.L. c. 90 S12 makes it a crime for anyone to knowingly permit someone who is unlicensed or whose license has been suspended or revoked to operate his own vehicle. The punishment for a conviction of this crime is a five hundred dollar fine and up to 1 year in jail. For second and subsequent offenders there is a one thousand dollar fine and up to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction.Allowing a Person With an Interlocking Ignition Restriction to Operate Your Car
G.L. c. 90 S12 states that anyone who allows someone who has an interlocking ignition restriction to operate a vehicle not equipped with such a device is guilty of a crime. First time offenders can be sentenced for up to 1 year in the house of correction and a five hundred dollar fine. Second and subsequent offenders can be sentenced for up to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction and a one thousand dollar fine.
Anyone convicted of any of the offenses under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 12 can lose his license for up to one year.2. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24V
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24V makes it a separate crime for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence (OUI) with a child fourteen years old or younger in the car. A conviction for first offenders requires the defendant be sentenced to 90 days in the house of correction and the sentence can be as much as 2 1/2 years in the house of correction. The fine ranges from one thousand dollars to five thousand dollars. A second or subsequent conviction for this offense required a minimum mandatory 6 month sentence in the house of correction and up to five years in state prison. A second conviction for this crime is a felony. First offenders will lose their license for one year. Second and subsequent offenders will lose their license for three years.3. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 23
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 23 creates a separate crime for people who are convicted of OUI and were operating after their operating privileges were suspended or revoked for another OUI. If someone is convicted of this offense there is a mandatory minimum 1 year jail sentence and a possible sentence of up to 2 1/2 years in the house of correction. Fines for a conviction of this offense range from two thousand five hundred dollars to five thousand dollars. There is a one year loss of license that will be imposed in addition to the other penalties.Additional Provisions Under Melanie's Law Vehicle Forfeitures
Melanie's Law permits the district attorney to move for a forfeiture of a defendant's motor vehicle after a conviction for a fourth or subsequent offense OUI.Motor Vehicle Homicide
Melanie's Law changed the length of license suspension from 10 year to 15 years for anyone convicted of motor vehicle homicide.Interlocking Devices
Starting January 1, 2006 Melanie's Law made mandatory Ignition Interlock Devices for anyone convicted of a second or subsequent OUI. Any driver with a hardship license issued after a conviction for a second or subsequent offense OUI must use the Ignition Interlock Device for the entire life of the hardship license and for two additional years after the license has been reinstated.