Boston DUI Lawyer
Accused of OUI or DUI?
Have you been arrested for Operating under the Influence (OUI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges? According to Massachusetts §90.24(1)(a)(1)(2011), anyone who is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on a public roadway, could be found guilty of driving under the influence. The penalties for an OUI/DUI conviction start with a fine of $500 and increase up to $5,000. Not only that, but the convicted individual could be sent to prison for up to two and a half years.
The legal limit for drinking and driving in every U.S. state is 0.08%. Also known as blood alcohol concentration or blood alcohol level, the blood alcohol content (BAC) can be measured in several different ways. By using a breathalyzer device, the law enforcement officer can see the alcohol levels through the device that analyzes their breath. Once a suspect is taken under arrest, a blood sample can also be taken and analyzed in a lab. Another way to determine if an individual is under the influence of alcohol without analyzing the BAC is through the administration of field sobriety tests. There are three main field sobriety tests that are used by officers throughout the state, and these tests challenge the driver's concentration and balance.
Massachusetts DUI Laws: Melanie's Law
In our state, laws related to OUI/DUI are frequently changing and penalties are continually increasing. Since the passage of Melanie's Law in 2005, the penalties for DUI and OUI offenders are significantly greater and the number of arrests throughout the state has risen dramatically. According to the Massachusetts Government;
Melanie's Law establishes a new offense of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Operating After Suspension for Drunk Driving. This means that a driver, who was driving under the influence of alcohol while his/her license was already suspended for OUI, can be charged with two crimes at once: 1.) OUI and 2.) OUI with a suspended license. This additional offense carries a minimum of a 1-year mandatory jail sentence.
Additionally, if you have permitted someone to operate your car knowing that he/she is unlicensed or has an interlocking ignition restriction, you can spend up to a year in jail and be liable for $500 in fines. Under this new law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence with a child fourteen years old or younger in the car will receive more severe penalties, including up to 2 ½ years in the house of correction and a $5,000 fine.
Melanie's Law also required 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.
What You Should Know About DUI
OUI and DUI charges can be devastating in terms of legal penalties, both immediate and long-ranging. If you have been stopped by the police for suspicion of DUI, there are several steps you can take to minimize the damages and assist in your
criminal defense. They include:
- Being careful about what you say to police as their intent is to arrest you and anything you say can be held against you
- Invoking your rights to silence (do not discuss the charge against you) and refusing a search of your vehicle
- Declining a field sobriety test; chemical tests are required and are usually administered later
- Contacting our firm to speak with a Boston criminal defense attorney at your earliest opportunity.
Here at Keegan & Novick, we have over 40 years of collective experience in the criminal justice system. Both of our founding attorneys were former police officers, and they have extensive experience on both sides of the courtroom. This unique experience will come in handy when preparing a defense strategy for your OUI or DUI charges. To learn more about how our firm can represent your rights and succeed on your behalf, contact us today for an evaluation.
View the firm's profile at FindaDUIAttorney.com.