drink and drive

Factors That Make Operating While Under the Influence Worse

Getting charged with OUI (operating under the influence) is quite serious. Unfortunately, some people still make the same errors or even make it worse by making mistakes that worsen your OUI. 

When you have a 0.08 percent BAC (blood alcohol content), or if you’re under the influence of drugs, stimulants, or depressants and operating a motor vehicle, you could be charged with OUI. Since Massachusetts has a zero tolerance for operating under the influence, a BAC of 0.02 is already considered an OUI. 

If you think getting an OUI is terrible enough, you’ll be surprised at how some people can make the situation even worse. From having an extremely high BAC to driving with children, other factors can worsen your OUI, extending your time behind bars, or even getting felony charges. 

Because of this, it pays to know the mistakes that you should avoid with regards to OUI. Here are some factors that make OUIs worse, according to criminal lawyers. 

Underage OUI

The legal limit for individuals who are 21 and over is 0.08 percent BAC. If a person under the age of 21 fails a breath or blood test and has a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, they could face a 3-year driver’s license suspension. 

Those under 21 years old should avoid driving after consuming any amount of alcohol because besides endangering their lives, they may also put other people at risk. 

Subsequent OUIs

If you have been previously charged with an OUI, the court will assume that you have learned your lesson after that. However, if you’ve already been convicted of OUI and you get charged with a subsequent offense, you may be given a higher fine, extended license suspension, and jail time. Additionally, they may need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) to prevent you from driving out and using your vehicle. 

If you’re charged with your third or a graver offense, you may be convicted for a felony and spend time behind bars. If that’s the case, it’s best to work with a reputable criminal law firm to understand your situation and guide you through the whole legal process. 

Child endangerment 

Operating a vehicle under the influence is already dangerous enough. But if there are children present, you have no choice but to deal with some of the most serious penalties one can face.

According to the study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one in five traffic accidents and deaths involving children ages 14 or younger have alcohol as a common factor. So, in addition to the fines you have to pay, your license suspension, and jail time, your child custody rights may be at risk when you had a child in the car when you were convicted of OUI.


When you seriously injure or kill someone while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances, the penalties can be severe. In these types of situations, you must get legal help immediately. 

According to Melanie’s Law in Massachusetts, those who are convicted of drunk driving will have higher penalties and extended license suspension periods. Besides that, if one commits manslaughter while driving under the influence, they are subject to a minimum of 5 years in prison and a maximum of 20 years, including a fine of $25,000.


After you’ve dealt with the situation, it’s best to avoid these circumstances and keep in mind the factors that could affect your OUI should you get charged again in the future. If you’re dealing with OUI-related issues, it’s best to speak with a reputable lawyer so you can get professional guidance during the whole legal process. Be a responsible driver and protect yourself and the people around you. 

Are you looking for legal assistance? The Fernandez Firm is here for you. I am Attorney Frank Fernandez, and I focus on all types of criminal defense cases. I am also an expert in all matters related to criminal law. Contact the Fernandez Firm today!