If you are stopped by police after consuming alcohol during this holiday season, here are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, when the police are investigating a suspected drunk driver, the officer is going to make initial observations of the manner of the vehicle operation. For instance, the police are looking to see if the vehicle crosses the marked lanes, whether it goes into the breakdown lane, or whether or not it stops appropriately.
Additionally, as the officer approaches the vehicle, he is looking to see if the operator is able to produce his/her license and registration without difficulty. The police are also looking to see if the driver has difficulty shutting the vehicle off and exiting.
Once outside the vehicle, the police will often ask if the driver wishes to perform field sobriety tests. These are tests designed to check for balance and ability to follow instructions. If you should agree to take these tests, the performance thereof is admissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief. Any refusal, however, is inadmissible in the Commonwealth’s case in chief.
Similarly, if you are arrested for OUI, you will be afforded the opportunity to take an infrared breathalyzer test at the police station. As with field sobriety tests, a refusal to take an infrared breathalyzer test is inadmissible in the governments’ case in chief. Such a refusal, however, carries with it significant license consequences.
As a result, if you or someone you know is arrested for OUI during this or any other season, contact an OUI Lawyer who will fight for you and your rights. Don’t delay, make the call today.
Now that the football season is under way, many people will be attending and
hosting parties. If you consume alcohol at such a party and then drive a motor vehicle, it is important to understand the law on operating under the influence of alcohol.
For example, operating under the influence is not the same as drunk driving. There is no charge in Massachusetts called drunk driving. It is sufficient for the
Commonwealth to show that an individual’s alertness, judgment and ability to
respond promptly were lessened by the consumption of alcohol. The amount necessary to do this will vary from person to person.
Additionally, the Commonwealth may also prove an OUI charge by producing evidence that the person’s blood alcohol content was .08 or greater at the time of
operation. This is typically done by presenting evidence of a breathalyzer test that is given back at the police station after the underlying arrest. You are not required to take a breathalyzer test, and such a refusal is inadmissible in the government’s case in chief. Breathalyzer test refusals, however, carry with them significantdriver’s license consequences.
As a result, if you find yourself charged for operating under the influence of
alcohol, contact an OUI Lawyer who will fight for you. The consequences are too severe to take the charges lightly.
As the summertime is ending, many of us will be attending celebrations, trying to enjoy the last warm days of the year. If you consume alcohol at such a celebration, and then operate a motor vehicle, it is important to know your rights.
First of all, the police may stop you in Massachusetts for any observed civil motor vehicle infraction. These infractions include speeding, marked lanes violation, and following too closely, just to name a few.
Similarly, you are not required to perform field sobriety tests, nor are you required to take a breathalyzer test at the police station. A refusal to perform either of these tests can’t be used against you in the government’s case in chief. This means that the refusals won’t come into evidence unless you mention them.
As a result, if you or someone you care about is arrested for OUI, contact an OUI Lawyer with trial experience. Don’t hesitate, make the contact today.
Several times a year in Massachusetts, the state police will institute what are commonly referred to as drunk driving roadblocks. These roadblocks are generally set up in such a fashion where every motor vehicle entering the roadblock will be stopped, unless traffic backs up to a certain point.
There is an initial officer who will approach the stopped vehicle, and who will greet the operator and look for signs of impairment. If no signs of impairment exist, then the driver will be sent on his or her way. If signs of impairment do exist, the operator will be sent into the pit area for further investigation as to whether or not he is under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
These roadblocks have been upheld by Mass. Appellate Courts as long as the police strictly follow the mandated procedures of the Colonel of the Mass. State Police. Much of the litigation around roadblock OUI arrests centers around whether or not the police specifically adhered to these mandated procedures or whether the officers on scene had discretion in what they were able to do.
With this in mind, if you or someone you know is arrested for OUI after entering such a roadblock, contact an OUI Lawyer with experience defending against these arrests. Make the call right away, don’t wait until it’s too late.
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.
Now that we have finally reached the summer season, many of us will be attending and celebrating at Fourth of July parties. If you attend such a celebration and consume alcohol in any amount, here are a few things to remember from an OUI Lawyer, if you decide to operate a motor vehicle.
First of all, the police may pull you over for any observed civil motor vehicle infractions. These may include speeding, crossing over marked lanes, or failing to signal. Additionally, if you are stopped, the police are going to observe and make note of your every move for signs of alcohol impairment. This is especially true as we approach the Fourth of July.
Similarly, if you operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol in any amount and this is noticed by the police, they will almost undoubtedly ask you to exit the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests. The police officer will make note of how you exit the motor vehicle, and of how you follow instruction and maintain balance on these tests. It is important to note, however, that you are not required to perform these tests, and any refusal to perform such tests can’t be used by the Commonwealth in their case in chief.
Finally, and oftentimes most importantly, is that if you are arrested for OUI in Massachusetts, the police will offer you the opportunity to take a breathalyzer test. It is essential to know that you are not required to take the breathalyzer test in Massachusetts, and a refusal to do so can’t be used against you by the Commonwealth in their case in chief. The consequence of a chemical test refusal, however, is a license loss that can range anywhere from 6 months to life depending on the number of prior OUI offenses.
As a result, if you or someone you know is charged with OUI during the summer or holiday season, contact an OUI Lawyer who can help. Don’t wait until it’s too late, make the call today.
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.