The charge of OUI in Massachusetts carries with it harsh potential penalties. For instance, a typical first offense disposition includes probation with the entrance into an alcohol education awareness program, and a $65 month supervised probation fee. Additionally, such a disposition will also carry with it $600 in statutory fees and fines and a license loss anywhere from 45-90 days. This license loss is in addition to either the breath test refusal suspension, or the failure suspension.
A typical second offender disposition includes probation for two years with statutory fees and fines and entrance into a 14 day residential alcohol program. There is also a $65 month probation fee and a 2 year license loss. Again this license loss is in addition to the breath test failure or refusal suspension.
A third offender disposition will typically carry a split sentence with a period of incarceration followed by probation upon release. For example, the mandatory minimum incarceration period is 150 days, and courts will oftentimes hold 1-2 years over someone upon release. This would mean that if you are on probation upon release, and there is a year suspended sentence remaining, and you violate probation, the court could sentence you to a year of incarceration. Finally, the license loss is for 8 years on a third offense conviction for OUI.
As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with OUI in Worcester County, contact a Worcester MA OUI Attorney who will fight for you. Start the process, make the call today.
If you are stopped under suspicion of OUI in Massachusetts you will most likely be offered the opportunity to perform field sobriety tests. You are under no obligation to do these tests, and any refusal to try these tests is inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief. If you do elect to do these tests, the three standard exercises most commonly requested by the police are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the nine step walk and turn test, as well as, the one leg stand test.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is based on the science of ophthalmology. There is purportedly a correlation between the involuntary movement of the human eye and alcohol intoxication. The theory goes that if someone is intoxicated there will be this involuntary movement of the eye. In this test the police will ask the subject to follow a pen from side to side without moving their head.
This test is inadmissible in Massachusetts without the testimony of a qualified expert explaining the correlation between alcohol consumption and nystagmus. An eye doctor would likely be necessary for this test to come into the Commonwealth’s case in chief.
Additionally, the nine step walk and turn, as well as, the one leg stand test are two standardized tests that purportedly measure an individual’s ability to maintain balance and follow instructions. These tests can be impacted by age as well as medical conditions including; obesity, knee problems, and general balance problems. Difficulty on these tests doesn’t necessarily translate to alcohol impairment.
As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with OUI after performing these standardized field tests, contact an OUI Lawyer who understands what the police look for in these exercises. Don’t take an OUI charge lightly, your livelihood may depend on it.
If you are charged with an OUI under Massachusetts law after consuming alcohol as well as other substances, a jury may still find you guilty of OUI. These other substances may include prescription medication, if you had reason to know that your use of alcohol might combine with prescription medications to impair your mental faculties, and such a combined effect was in fact the cause of your diminished abilities.
The government may be entitled to an instruction on the combination of alcohol and other substances on your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, if such evidence has been presented at trial. For instance, under Commonwealth v.Stathopoulos , 401 Mass. 453, 456-457, (1988), it was articulated that, “[a] defendant may be found guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor if the defendant’s ability to operate a vehicle safely is diminished, and alcohol is one contributing cause of the diminished capacity.” This instruction has been used in many OUI trials across the state where there has been evidence presented that alcohol was but one contributing cause of diminished capacity.
As a result, if you find yourself charged with an OUI after consuming alcohol as well other substances, either illicit or not, contact an OUI attorney who will attack the Commonwealth’s case. Don’t take the charge lightly, your livelihood may depend on it.
If you are stopped while driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages in Massachusetts, it is important to remember a few things. First of all, before the police officer even approaches your vehicle, he or she has already made observations of your operation of the vehicle that will be used later to confirm or dispel an opinion for OUI.
For instance, whether or not the vehicle stayed within the marked lanes, whether you stopped when the officer signaled you to do so, and how you stop the vehicle are just a few of the things that the police are looking for before they approach the vehicle.
Similarly, upon approaching the vehicle, the officer will look to see how and if you are able to produce your license and registration, as well as what is going on in the interior the car. This is in addition to how you are able to exit the vehicle and walk to the side of the road.
The police will also make note of how you are able to balance and follow instructions on field sobriety tests, which they will offer in almost every OUI stop. Please note, however, that there are many factors outside of consuming alcohol why someone may be unable to perform field sobriety tests, and the refusal to perform such exercises is inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief at trial.
Finally, whether or not to take the breathalyzer test at the police station is a decision that should be arrived at with caution. Many factors will impact the results of a breathalyzer test, and as with field sobriety tests, a refusal to take the breathalyzer is inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief. As a result, if you find yourself facing an OUI charge, don’t get overwhelmed, contact an experienced OUI Lawyer today.