Anyone who is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on a public roadway can be convicted of a DUI. If you are accused of an OUI or a DUI, it is crucial that you take careful care and consideration of your defense options. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests above the legal limit of 0.08%, you will face prosecution. Your BAC is measured by one of two forms of chemical testing:
- Breath test using a breathalyzer device
- Blood sample that is taken and analyzed in a lab
In some circumstances, a police officer may also administer a urine test.
Know The Law
Massachusetts state law is frequently changing, with penalties following a recent upward trend in severity. After the passing of Melanie’s Law in 2005 the penalties for DUI and OUI offenders are significantly greater. As a result, the arrest in the state have risen dramatically.
The law extends to other related offenses, too, such as granting access to someone to operate your car. If you permit them to drive your vehicle knowing they are unlicensed or have an interlocking ignition restriction, you could spend up to a year in jail and be liable for $500 in fines. The new law also dictates that anyone who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence with a child 14 years old or younger in the car will receive more severe penalties, including 2.5 years in the house of correction and a $5000 fine.
Melanie’s Law also requires all multiple OUI offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle. More than 400 Ignition Interlock devices have been installed since Melanie’s Law was passed and a state-run program was initiated. The law also increased the length of license suspension to a minimum of 15 years for a conviction of Motor Vehicle Homicide, among other things.
DUI Traffic Stops in Boston
It is vital that you know and understand your constitutional rights at a traffic stop. Knowing your rights can effectively avoid an arrest and/or grounds for criminal charges in many cases. The same rights apply whether you are stopped in a routine traffic stop or at a sobriety checkpoint. They include:
The right to deny consent to a search of your vehicle (4th Amendment)
The right to silence (5th Amendment) – to avoid saying anything self-incriminating
The right to refuse a field sobriety test. These take place before an arrest and are used by law enforcement to obtain probable cause for an arrest.
As a former police officer, I understand how drunk driving arrests work, including the flaws and blurred lines that often characterize these traffic stops. When I represent clients facing DUI/OUI charges, I frequently find flaws in the evidence or the way the arrest was made – which can effectively result in dismissed or diminished charges.