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alelliot

Massachussetts third DUI penalties

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Hi,

 

I was looking at the DUI statute for Massachussetts and am confused about the wording for an offender's third DUI. 

 

§ 24.  Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor or Controlled Substance.

(1)  (a)  (1) If the defendant has been previously convicted or assigned to an alcohol or controlled substance education, treatment, or rehabilitation program by a court of the commonwealth, or any other jurisdiction because of a like offense two times preceding the date of the commission of the offense for which he has been convicted, the defendant shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not less than one hundred and eighty days nor more than two and one-half years or by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two and one-half years nor more than five years...

I've been reviewing the DUI laws for each of the fifty states and I haven't seen one worded like this before. It seems like there are two different ranges of sentences that can be assigned to an offender, but I haven't found any statutes or subsections that would trigger either of those sentences. Does the judge just arbitrarily decide? Or maybe one of these sentences refers to a felony charge? I know some states will consider a third or fourth DUI as a felony if it happens within a specific timeframe, but I didn't see anything in the statutes that indicated that a third DUI in Mass. would be a felony.

 

(I don't have a DUI, this is for research purposes, but I have no legal training so I would appreciate anyone who could weigh in on this topic.)

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