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.