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.