Driving under the influence of marijuana is a crime in Massachusetts. This article explains the penalties imposed for DUI violations, but other laws regarding marijuana possession may also apply to drivers and passengers.
For information about how Massachusetts treats marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture, see Massachusetts Marijuana Laws.
Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana
It is illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, other drugs, or a combination of substances. When alcohol is involved, a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent of the driver’s blood, by volume, will conclusively establish that the driver is under the influence (if the level is less, the prosecutor can still point to the driver’s actions to prove that he was under the influence).
When marijuana is involved, however, any amount of marijuana that was in the driver’s blood or urine while he was driving will establish that the driver was under the influence. (90 Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. § 24(1)(a)(1).)
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Penalties vary according to the conviction, with additional penalties if a minor is in the vehicle at the time of the offense. (90 Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. § 24(1)(a)(1).)
- First convictions. Defendants face a fine of between $500 and $1,000, up to 30 months of house arrest, and license suspension for up to one year. The judge may alternately order participatio in a drug and alcohol education or treatment program, and between 45 and 90 days of license suspension.
- Second convictions. An offender will face a fine of between $600 and $10,000, a mandatory minimum of 30 days jail (and up to 30 months in prison), and license suspension for up to two years. The judge may alternately order the defendant to participate in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment program, probation, and between up to two years of license suspension.
- Third convictions. Penalties include a fine of between $1,000 and $15,000, a mandatory minimum 150 days in jail (and up to five years in prison), and license suspension for up to eight years.
- Fourth convictions. Penalties include a fine of between $1,500 and $25,000, a mandatory minimum one year (and up to five years) in prison, and license suspension for ten years.
- Fifth and subsequent convictions. Penalties include a fine of between $2,000 and $50,000, a mandatory minimum 24 months (and up to five years) in prison, and license suspension for life.