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A Background to MA Melanie DUI Laws

Melanie Powell and MA DUI Laws

The Melanie’s law is a set of DUI laws enacted in Massachusetts that changed the landscape of DUI convictions.  In 2003, Melanie Powell then a 13 year old from Marshfield was on her way to get ice cream with her friends.  At that time, a repeat DUI offender tragically struck and killed Melanie Powell.

In the fall of 2005, Massachusetts was set to lose $9 million dollars in funding unless it enacted tougher laws by September 30, 2005.  There were different bills filed and on October 28, 2005, MA passed tougher DUI laws that were to be in effect starting January 1, 2006.

With the addition of Melanie’s law, the DUI laws changed.  Melanie’s law does not increase the potential penalties for DUI convictions.  However, Melanie’s law did add six new categories of offenses.  The categories include:

  1. Employing suspended or unlicensed operator to operate motor vehicle
  2. Allowing suspended or unlicensed operator to operate motor vehicle
  3. Being charged with a DUI while license is suspended for a DUI
  4. Child endangerment while DUI
  5. Larceny of a registration plate
  6. Manslaughter by motor vehicle
  7. Ignition interlock device offense
  8. Motor vehicle homicide

Other Aspects of Melanie’s DUI Law

Melanie’s law eliminated the MA 15 day temporary license in DUI cases.  The DUI suspect’s car will be impounded for 12 hours.  The amount of time a DUI suspect’s license is suspended has also increased for refusing the breathalyzer.

Melanie’s law allows the MA registry to cancel the registration plates of anyone convicted of a 3rd offense DUI or subsequent alcohol related driving offense.  The MA registry may do this for the duration of the license suspension period.

The MA Melanie law also allows the District Attorney to seek forfeiture of the defendant’s car if he is convicted of a 4th offense DUI.  The MA District Attorney may also seek to forfeit the defendant’s car if the defendant is convicted of a subsequent alcohol related driving offense.

Call Attorney Jason Chan to talk about your Drunk Driving, DUI, OUI case today at 508-808-8902.

Contact Attorney Jason Chan

Attorney Jason Chan

267 North Beacon Street, Suite 3
Boston MA 01235


Phone: 781-343-1DUI (781-343-1384)
Fax: 617-226-7986

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