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Boston Criminal Defense Law Blog

Lawmaker proposes ignition interlock devices for first-time OUI

A Massachusetts lawmaker has proposed expanding the state's ignition interlock device program to include those convicted of a first OUI offense to have the devices installed in their vehicles.

Since 2005, those convicted of two or more OUI offenses have been required to have their vehicles outfitted with devices that require them to use a breath test before they can hit the road. The devices can also require them to pull over while driving for periodic check-ups. The devices must stay in place for at least two years. This, of course, comes after the driver has already completed the process of getting their driving privileges back after serving any jail time, paying any fines and completing any other obligations.

Tips for avoiding an OUI after a tailgate

Before you go tailgating around Massachusetts, you need to be cognizant of what the law says. You deserve to have a fun tailgate party without running afoul of the law. 

Even after the game is over and Boston University has won another game, you need to be careful about how you get home. You do not want to end up with operating under the influence charges, so be careful about how you party at the game. 

Can you lose your medical license over an OUI conviction?

Perhaps you had a little too much to drink at a colleague’s retirement party. When you drove home, law enforcement stopped you on suspicion of operating under the influence of alcohol.

Your concern over the civil and criminal penalties you face is only exceeded by the fear of losing your medical license, which is due for renewal. What happens now?

Understanding field sobriety tests

A recent news report about a Massachusetts arrest helps illustrate an important point about OUI law enforcement and prosecution.

According to the report, police in historic Rehoboth said they received reports from the public about a dark sports car driving dangerously, and responded to the scene. Officers said they saw a dark Hyundai weaving and looking like it was about to drive off the road. An officer said he pursued the car for a short distance, watching it slow down, speed up cross the roadway's center line several times.

Police officer found not guilty of OUI

People who are accused of drunk driving often take a fatalistic approach to the charges they face. Perhaps they feel the evidence against them is overwhelming, and so there is no point in trying. This is a mistake. Everyone deserves a defense.

Recently, a Massachusetts man was found not guilty of OUI charges after he challenged the evidence used against him at trial. The man, a reserve officer with the Amesbury Police Department, was arrested in March, after police said he crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He left the scene of the accident but returned shortly afterwards. Police at the scene gave him a chemical breath test, which showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.118%, prosecutors said. A driver age 21 or older is presumed too drunk to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher.

Legal marijuana and OUI charges

Next month will mark the first anniversary of legalized recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, and the commonwealth is still adjusting to the changes the new law brought. One area where the authorities are still trying to figure out how to work with the new law is in its approach to marijuana-impaired driving.

In many ways, OUI laws apply equally whether the substance involved is alcohol or pot.

Parents can help teen drivers stay sober behind the wheel

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high school students drive intoxicated roughly 2.4 million times each month.

New license holders still have a lot to learn about driving—and about driving under the influence of alcohol. Parents can discourage drinking and help their teens stay sober behind the wheel.

Defending against breath test results

When you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, police officers have a variety of ways to gather evidence that you are too intoxicated to driver. They may have you go through a field sobriety test, asking you to walk a straight line and performing other simple tasks. If you fail, they will take notes and the prosecution will use those notes as evidence against you. The police will probably take note if they smell alcohol on your breath or appear to be slurring your speech, as well. But perhaps the most important evidence they will collect is the results of a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, test.

If you are 21 or older and the test reveals your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you will have your driver's license immediately confiscated and suspended for 30 days. This is just the beginning of the penalties you will face if you are convicted of OUI.

Teen driving: When inexperience and intoxication mix

Say that your teenage son is a good driver, but he is only 17 and you feel somewhat uneasy whenever he is behind the wheel.

There are distractions. There is drinking, although your son insists he does not imbibe. There is also the simple matter of inexperience. How can you not worry?

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.

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