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 in the greater Boston area, 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
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.