In Massachusetts, driving under the influence (DUI), or operating under the influence (OUI), is a serious crime resulting in court penalties and penalties from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Among some of the penalties of DUI/OUI include license suspension, fines, or even jail time.
For those who are repeat or extreme OUI offenders whose blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .20, there are much stronger punishments. Massachusetts uses the OUI standard, whereas other states use the DUI standard. With the OUI standard, drivers can be charged if the keys are in ignition, even if the operator is pulled over off the road. In order to get a DUI charge, on the other hand, the driver must be driving.
When you are suspected of DUI/OUI in Massachusetts, an officer can request you to take a breathalyzer sobriety test. In a breathalyzer sobriety test, your BAC is measured to determine whether you are legally driving under the influence. Based on your age and the type of vehicle you are driving, there are different acceptable BAC levels. Drivers will be charged with an OUI following these conditions:
- Drivers age 21 or older – BAC level of .08% or above
- Drivers below age 21 – BAC level of .02% or above
- Commercial drivers – BAC level of .04% or above
In addition to a breathalyzer sobriety test, an officer can request you to take a number of field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests may include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test, and the walk-and-turn test. Field sobriety tests are designed to measure a specific response or reflex that may be hindered if an individual has been drinking.
Drug and Alcohol Crimes
Massachusetts mandates additional drug and alcohol related laws. Under the open container law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with an open container of alcohol, no matter who is holding it or where it is located in the vehicle. If this law is broken, you may face a $100 – $500 fine. You may also be pulled over if any prescription, over-the-counter medication, or illegal drug is affecting your ability to drive. For any drug conviction, the state of Massachusetts will revoke your driver’s license or learner’s permit. Revocation periods may last anywhere between 1-5 years. Whether you are convicted of operating under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances, the number of offenses you have had greatly impact the type of penalties you will receive. For more information on OUI crimes and penalties in Massachusetts, visit dmv.org.
How Our Lawyers Can Help You
In Massachusetts, OUI standards are strict, and factor in many components to ensure the safety of our roads. Due to this, laws and charges are more encompassing to curtail drunk/drugged driver offenders. If you are charged with an OUI in Massachusetts, you will be given a court date for an arraignment. There will be pre-trial hearings and motions before the trial itself, where the case is decided by a judge or jury.
If you have faced an OUI charge and feel as if there is not enough justification, no reasonable cause, or other components to factor in, it is important to contact an experienced attorney. Whether you are a victim of a drunk/drugged driver related incident or are the individual at fault, our lawyers at Facchini & Facchini, PC will be there with you every step of the way to ensure you know your rights, and what evidence there is for your case.
Facchini & Facchini, PC offers consultation and representation for clients who have been found guilty of OUI charges.