Holiday Drinking & Driving, by OUI Lawyer Surrette

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.

OUI Lawyer

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.

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.

Worcester MA OUI Attorney

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.

OUi Lawyer

  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.

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.

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.

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:

Ratings and Reviews

10.0Shane W. Surrette
Shane W. SurretteReviewsout of reviews
National Trial Lawyers Top 100