Massachusetts has stiff penalties for those convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol. Beyond the potential for incarceration and probation, the loss of license can be extreme. For instance, if you refuse the breathalyzer test at the police station there is an immediate 180 license loss if this is a first offense. This license loss is in addition to the 45-90 license loss for first time offenders if there is a plea or a guilty finding after trial.
Additionally, if you are charged with a second offense for operating under the influence of alcohol and there is an infrared breathalyzer test refusal, the refusal suspension is for 3 years in addition to the 2 year suspension if there is a guilty finding on the second offense.
Furthermore, if you are charged with a third offense for operating under the influence of alcohol, and you refuse the breathalyzer test, there is a 5 year suspension period for the refusal with an accompanying 8 year suspension if there is a conviction for the third offense.
If you are charged with a fourth offense operating under the influence and you refuse the breathalyzer test, the license suspension is for life if the Commonwealth is able to attain a conviction for the fourth offense.
As a result, if you are charged with OUI, it is important to find an OUI lawyer who will fight for you at trial. Admitting or pleading guilty will often trigger significant license consequences.
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.
If you are arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol, you will be offered
a breathalyzer test back at the police station. In order for the breathalyzer test to be admissible in evidence, the police must meet certain minimum requirements, and any variance beyond these minimum requirements will typically go to the weight of the breathalyzer test
evidence and not its admissibility.
For instance, for a breath test to be admitted at trial in Massachusetts, the
police must show that the breath test operator was certified to administer
breathalyzer tests in the Commonwealth, and that the testing device was certified
at the time of the test. Similarly, the arrested person’s consent to the test shall be documented by the police.
Additionally, the device has to be shown to be working properly at the time of the test and the test must be valid. For the test to be valid, the results must be within
.02 of one another. For example, a testshowing results of .09 and .11 would be acceptable as they are within .02 of one another, yet results of .09 and .12 would be invalid.
As a result, if you or someone you care about is charged with operating under the
influence of intoxicating liquor, and you decide to take the breathalyzer test,
contact an OUI Lawyer who has experience challenging breath test evidence. Don’t hesitate, make the call today.