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Boston Criminal Defense Law Blog

The most common OUI defenses

People who have been accused of a crime have the right to a defense. This includes people who are charged with drunk driving offenses.

These charges are not easy to beat in Massachusetts, but it can be done. An experienced OUI defense attorney can help people choose the strategy that will work best in their particular case, and give them the best chances of protecting their license and their freedom.

How much can a Massachusetts OUI increase auto insurance rates?

Massachusetts takes drunk driving extremely seriously. If authorities charge you with operating under the influence and it leads to a conviction, you can expect your life to undergo considerable change. Even as a first-time drunk driver, you can still potentially lose your freedom, a significant amount of money and your right to drive, among other losses.

As you can probably imagine, the penalties and repercussions associated with operating under the influence in Massachusetts tend to increase with each subsequent offense. Even one OUI conviction can hurt your life, your ability to make a living and your wallet. Furthermore, while many of the expenses you need to take care of in the wake of an OUI conviction come straight from the court, others will likely come from your automotive insurance provider.

An OUI conviction, probation and associated programs

If you have a drunk driving conviction in the state of Massachusetts, are there alternatives to the loss of driving privileges or the prospect of jail time?

Upon probation approval, the judge in the District Court who hears your case may refer you to a first-offender Driver Alcohol Education program or a second offender alcohol treatment program.

State trooper charged with OUI during off duty hours

Massachusetts State Police troopers are given rigorous training, and they are expected to uphold the law, both when they are on duty and when they are not on duty. Nonetheless, occasionally, troopers run afoul of the law because they, like the rest of us, are human. A recent accident in Chicopee involving a state trooper who was alleged to have been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol demonstrates how these finely trained officers can allegedly violate the laws they are sworn to uphold.

The trooper who is alleged to have been involved in the accident was driving a Ford F-150 when he collided with a Ford Expedition driven by a 33-year-old woman. Details of the accident have not been released by the Chicopee Fire department because the crash is being investigated by state police.

What are the consequences for an UI test refusal?

A breathalyzer test may have a devastating effect in an OUI prosecution in Massachusetts. The motorist's rights and dealing with a request to undergo these tests may play a role with a prosecution for OUI and driving privileges.

Failure to pass this test may be conclusive. The Commonwealth can prove that the defendant operated under the influence if they have a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent.

Protecting your license after an OUI

Most people do not intend to endanger others. However, when drivers get behind the wheel while under the influence, they do just that.

In such cases, those caught can face serious charges and may risk losing their driving privileges. Should this occur, there are a few tactics drivers may implement to protect their licenses.

Driving and marijuana

Massachusetts has legalized the use of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. But this legalization is not unlimited. Motorists who unlawfully drive while impaired from marijuana or engage in other illegal behavior may face OUI conviction consequences or other legal problems.

Because of a 2016 ballot initiative and 2017 law, a person over 21 may possess up to one ounce of marijuana with them. No more than five grams of marijuana may not be in a marijuana concentrate form.

What effect would vehicular homicide have on your future?

In the state of Massachusetts, a drunk driving charge is officially termed "operating under the influence," and a conviction brings harsh penalties, even for first-time offenders.

If a conviction for OUI can disrupt the plans you have for your future, think what a conviction for vehicular homicide could do.

Drugged driving is illegal

Convictions for impaired driving are not limited to the usual suspects of alcohol, illegal drugs or marijuana. Driving while taking legally prescribed drugs may be dangerous and lead to an arrest requiring an OUI defense.

Benzodiazepines, opioids and other prescription drugs can impair a motorist's skills by causing drowsiness, dizziness and impair the ability for thinking and making judgments. These can lead to car crashes.

5 sobriety checkpoint tips

When you see an OUI checkpoint up ahead, it can make you nervous and uncomfortable. Even if you are not under the influence of any substance, going through a sobriety checkpoint can still be inconvenient and invasive. While these checkpoints may feel unfair or intrusive, they are legal in Massachusetts under state and federal law.

How you conduct yourself during a police checkpoint can greatly affect the outcome. Here is some general information about your rights and how to behave during a checkpoint.

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