OUI LAWYER

            If you are stopped for suspicion of OUI over the summer holiday season, the police will likely ask you to perform field sobriety tests.  There are three standard tests that the police center on in Massachusetts.  The standard exercises include the nine-step walk and turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.

The nine-step walk and turn and the one-leg stand exercise are walking and standing tests, respectively, that are designed to measure an individual’s ability to balance and process information.  The problem with these tests for the government is that there are many reasons and factors influencing why an individual may not be able to balance and following instructions, apart from alcohol impairment.

For instance, someone may have medical problems or may just have poor balance, which may prevent him or her from adequately performing these tests.  Similarly, if you are a nervous person, you may be focused on what is transpiring before you, opposed to following instructions.

The final standard field sobriety exercise is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test.  This is a test of the eye, and it is based on the scientific theory that there is a correlation between the consumption of alcohol and the involuntary movement of the human eyeball.  The difficulty for the Commonwealth with this test is that they need someone who has the experience to testify that they are trained in giving this test and that the underlying science is reliable.

It is likely that in order to be admitted in the Commonwealth, the government will have to proceed with an ophthalmologist for the HGN’s introduction.

Therefore, if you are stopped in the Commonwealth after consuming alcohol, and you find yourself attempting these tests, don’t panic if you are arrested shortly thereafter.  Be polite and immediately contact an OUI Lawyer who knows how to adequately defend an OUI charge.

DUI Attorney

DUI Attorney

            If you are arrested for DUI in Massachusetts, you will be offered a breathalyzer test when you get back to the police station. The decision of whether to take a breathalyzer test should not be taken lightly.  For instance, you should consider how much you had to drink and when in making your decision. Also, the test results will be impacted by what you had to eat and when, as well as a multitude of other factors.

Of further consideration is the license impact of taking versus not taking the breath test.  For example, on a DUI first offense in Massachusetts, if you refuse the breathalyzer test and you are 21 or older, you will lose your license for 6 months from the time of refusal.  If you take the test and fail on a first offense, you will lose your license for 30 days from the time of the test.

If you refuse the breathalyzer test on a DUI second offense, you will lose your license for 3 years from the time of refusal.  If you take the test and fail the suspension period remains 30 days.  These suspensions obviously increase as the offense numbers increase, and they are in addition to any suspensions that occur as a result of a conviction on the underlying offense.

As a result, the decision of whether to take the breathalyzer test may depend on how well you can get around without a license for the immediate future.  If you are facing a DUI charge today, contact a DUI attorney who will fight for you and your license.

DUI Attorney

Now that the largest winter storm in decades is being us, many of you will be venturing out to restaurants and bars over the upcoming week to get out of the house.  If you find yourself driving a car after consuming alcohol, remember that the police are out looking for impaired operators.  As a result, here are a few things to keep in mind from a DUI Attorney.

First of all, the police may stop a motor vehicle for any civil motor vehicle infraction.  Civil motor vehicle infractions include speeding and going over the marked lines, just to name two.  What is important to note in any such stop is that the police are looking for a number of things in addition to what is listed on the citation.

For instance, the police will look to see if the driver pulls over right away when the cruiser lights go on, as well as, if the vehicle parks on the side of the road, without any portions of the vehicle sticking out in the road.

Additionally, the police will look for the operator’s ability to find and produce his/her license and registration without dropping or having difficulty handling the items.  The police will also look to see if the driver has bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or an odor of alcoholic beverages on the breath.

Similarly, if the police believe based on these observations that the driver has a reduced alertness and judgment based on the consumption of alcohol, the police will typically ask the driver to exit and perform field sobriety tests.  Upon exiting, the police are looking to see if the operator has any difficulty opening the door, exiting, and walking on the side of the road.

As a result, without even considering field sobriety tests or the breathalyzer test, the police are looking at a myriad of factors to determine whether they believe someone is impaired. Consequently, if you or someone you know is charged with DUI, contact a DUI Attorney who will challenge the Commonwealth.

DUI Attorney

If someone is charged with DUI in Massachusetts after being involved in a motor vehicle accident, is the accident itself evidence of impairment?  Under Massachusetts law, an accident alone is not evidence of DUI.

If a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident, many of the symptoms of a head injury are consistent with those for DUI.  For example, if the motor vehicle operator strikes his or head on the dashboard of the vehicle, and that person is observed to be unsteady outside of the vehicle, is the unsteadiness caused by the head strike or DUI impairment?

There is no easy answer to this question, and most police officers will not be able to tell the difference absent blood alcohol testing.  Simply stated, can most people tell the difference between the symptoms of impairment and the symptoms of a head injury?  The answer is obviously no, and if you find yourself in such a situation you should be entitled to the benefit of the reasonable doubt.

As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with DUI, contact a DUI attorney who will fight for you and your rights.

DUI Attorneys

If you are stopped while operating a motor vehicle on the public ways of the Commonwealth after consuming any amount of alcohol, you are likely to be asked to perform field sobriety tests.  You are not required to perform field sobriety tests under Massachusetts law, and the question that needs to be asked in all DUI cases is, how reliable are the tests in determining impairment?

For instance, a standardized test that is often given is the nine step walk and turn test.  Pursuant to this test, the police are looking to see if the person walks nine steps heel to toe in a straight line, with their arms by their sides.  The person then has to turn in a prescribed manner, taking nine steps back to the starting position.

Without considering the case where an individual may have difficulty with balance even though he/she hasn’t consumed any alcohol, consider the case where someone is stopped on the side of the road, late at night, in very cold weather.  If that person has to walk nine steps just off ofthe side of the highway, or other major roadway, with only headlights and a flashlight for lighting, should that person’s ability to keep their feet heel to toe determine impairment?

The answer is no, however, this is what happens in many roadside DUI cases across the Commonwealth.  If this is the case for you, or you know someone who is in such a situation, focus on those DUI attorneys who will fight for you.

Holiday Celebration Season & Your Rights According to DUI Attorney

We are now at the end of the year and the holiday party season is in full swing. At the same time, law enforcement officers are also out looking for operators suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol. If you find yourself in a situation where you are stopped by police after consuming alcohol in any amount, here are a few things you should know. 

First of all, the police are trained to look at certain clues in detecting what is believed to be impaired operation. For instance, the police will look to see if the operator maintains the appropriate lane of travel, follows the traffic laws, as well as, how the person stops the vehicle.  This is all before the police officer has even spoken to the driver. 

Similarly, as the officer approaches the vehicle he/she is looking to see how the operator reacts to retrieving his/her license, as well, as the person’s ability to exit and walk out of the vehicle. 

Whether inside or outside of the motor vehicle, it is important to note that under Massachusetts law you are not required to perform field sobriety tests. It is perfectly acceptable to decline the officer’s request to perform such tests, and your refusal can’t be used against you in the government’s case in chief at any subsequent trial.

Furthermore, you are not required to take the breathalyzer test back at the police station, and just like field sobriety tests, any refusal can’t be used against you in the Commonwealth’s case in chief at trial. The issue with a breathalyzer test refusal, however, is that any refusal will have license suspension consequences that increase dramatically based on the number of prior DUI offenses. As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with DUI, contact Massachusetts DUI attorney Shane W. Surrette for a complementary consultation.

DUI Attorney

Now that the holiday season has approached, law enforcement will be stepping up its patrol efforts for the remainder of the year.  During this season if you find yourself celebrating or are at a holiday party and you consume alcohol, here are a few things you should know from an experienced DUI Attorney.

First of all, you are not required to perform field sobriety tests under Massachusetts law, and any such refusal can’t be used against you at trial.  So if the police officer asks you to step out of the vehicle and perform these tests, you are within your rights to respectfully refuse. This is important to remember because oftentimes people think that if they do exactly what the officer asks of them, they won’t be arrested. The reality, however, is that if the officer is uncertain as to whether you are under the influence, all doubt is usually resolved in favor of arrest.

Similarly, when arrested for DUI and brought back to the police station, you have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test, and any such refusal also can’t be admitted in the Commonwealth’s case in chief at trial.  The issue with the breathalyzer refusal, however, goes to the license loss implications. For example, assume someone is acquitted after trial of an OUI second offense, and that person refused the breathalyzer test. Even with an acquittal on the underlying OUI, the person acquitted, through counsel, will have to submit a motion to the trial judge for license reinstatement.

If the court decides that the person is a danger to the public safety, the judge can deny the license reinstatement request, and the acquitted will have to wait three years before being able to get the license back. If the judge allows the motion, then a copy of the docket with the reinstatement fee should be brought to the nearest branch of the registry for license reinstatement.

These are just a few things to think about if you find yourself facing an OUI stop or charge. If charges are brought, contact an experienced DUI Attorney today.

The Experience of the Holiday Season According to a DUI Attorney

With Thanksgiving this week, we are at the time of the year for celebration and for spending time with family and friends. It is important to note, however, that during this season, if your celebration involves the consumption of alcohol and operation of a motor vehicle, police will have a stepped up enforcement patrol and will be looking for impaired operators, according to DUI attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA.

If you find yourself in a position where you have been stopped after consuming alcoholic beverages, you should keep in mind a few things. First of all, it is important to remain calm, and be respectful of the officer. Panicking, shaking because of nerves, or becoming angry at the officer can all be construed as potential signs of intoxication.

Similarly, you must keep in mind that in most circumstances in Massachusetts, the police officer will ask you to perform field sobriety tests. There are many ways to interpret these tests, and it goes without saying that balancing tests late at night on the side of the road are not generally going to favor the person performing the tests. As a result, please note that under Massachusetts law, you have the right to refuse field sobriety tests, and such refusal evidence can’t be used against you at trial during the Commonwealth’s case.

Finally, if the police believe they have enough evidence and arrest you for DUI, you will be afforded the opportunity for a breathalyzer test.  As with field sobriety tests, you have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test, and the refusal can’t be used against you at trial in the Commonwealth’s case in chief. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, this is often the most important decision that reflects heavily on the difference between a guilty and not guilty finding.

Note that a lack of breathalyzer evidence will often significantly aid anyone criminally charged, however, such refusal will have license implications that can cause a suspension from 180 days to life, even with an acquittal.

So if you or someone you know is charged with DUI over the holiday season, do the right thing and contact an experienced DUI attorney who will fight for you and your license.

DUI Attorney on Auburn Man Charged with Drunken Driving

Many of you are interested in the story of an Auburn man charged with OUI causing serious bodily injury after a crash on interstate 290 over the weekend. Going forward, the question is going to be, what does the government have to show to prove such a charge beyond a reasonable doubt? The answer depends on whether the defendant is charged under the felony or the misdemeanor branch, according to dui attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA. For the felony charge of OUI causing serious bodily injury, the government must prove that the defendant operated a motor vehicle on a public way; while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above; and did so in a negligent or reckless manner; and by such operation caused serious bodily injury to someone. In order for the Commonwealth to prove the misdemeanor branch of OUI causing serious bodily injury, it must be shown that the person operated a motor vehicle; on a public way; while under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol level of .08 or above; and by such operation caused serious bodily injury to someone. The difference between the felony and misdemeanor branch of the statute is that under the felony branch negligent or reckless operation has to be shown, whereas, in the misdemeanor portion, no such showing is required. Furthermore, a bodily injury is serious if it creates a substantial risk of death; it involves total disability; it involves the loss of any bodily function for a substantial period of time; or it involves substantial impairment of any bodily function for a substantial period of time. As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with DUI, contact an aggressive DUI attorney to fight for you and your rights. For additional questions, or if you would like a free consultation, please contact DUI attorney Surrette at 505.799.9309.

What to do When Arrested for OUI, by Worcester DUI Attorney

AFTER BEING ARRESTED FOR OUI ARE THE POLICE STILL WATCHING YOU TO GATHER EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT A CONVICTION?

 

If you are arrested for operating under the influence, the police are watching you as they place you in and remove you from the cruiser, and as they begin the booking process. They are making observations in order to gather more evidence to support a conviction for operating under the influence, according to dui attorney Shane W. Surrette of Worcester, MA.

The police are looking to gather evidence because their opinion of operating under the influence is just an opinion. Consider for example, the officer who testifies that the citizen is staggering and highly intoxicated, yet is able to enter and exit the cruiser without difficulty, and is further able to appropriately answer routing booking questions.

These observations could completely undercut an officer’s opinion of operating under the influence. The converse is also true if the police claim the person had difficulty getting in and out of the cruiser, as well as an inability in answering booking questions.

What is important to remember in such a situation if you are arrested for operating under the influence is not to panic, to be respectful of the police, and to try to answer all booking questions to the best of your ability. Once you do this, your next decision should be to hire a Worcester OUI attorney with experience in dealing with and questioning the police.

To find out more information, contact DUI Attorney Surrette below:

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