Proposed legislation takes aim at repeat drunk drivers

People facing a third charge of drunk driving could be held without bail

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker wants to pass new legislation to keep dangerous drivers off of the road.

Governor Baker has filed a bill that he said would protect the commonwealth from repeat drunk drivers.
It would give judges the option to hold repeat offenders without bail when suspected of a third OUI.

Springfield resident Montrell Payne said, “If you got three, you’re probably going to end up getting three more. It’s a good try, you know a good idea, but at the end of the day you gotta want to change, want to do better.”

Under Baker’s bill, judges could order third-time OUI suspects held without bail, after a hearing to determine if they’re a risk to the public.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. Springfield resident Luis Nieves said, “To go to jail, and what just hold them, and what, take time from other people that really do worse things than somebody driving drunk. Why hold them with no bail in jail when that’s holding the space of a real criminal.”

Baker filed the bill after the supreme judicial court ruled the current law “unclear” on how many OUI convictions a suspect must have in order to be held without bail.

Suspects would only be kept in custody after a hearing to determine if they are a risk to the public.