If you have been arrested for drunk driving, it is imperative that you hire a Boston DUI/OUI Attorney to represent you – NOW! Many people make the mistake of thinking that if it is only their first offense, they will be able to resolve the matter on their own without serious consequences. This is simply NOT TRUE. Massachusetts takes drunk driving very seriously. Even first-time offenders can find themselves face with a jail sentence of two and a half years. Other penalties include up to a year of probation coupled with the loss of your license, fees and fines, and alcohol education programs. If it is not the first offense, you can be faced with mandatory jail sentences. In 2005, Massachusetts passed “Melanie’s Law”- under which the criminal penalties for a DUI/OUI Offense increased in severity. These harsh penalties make it extremely important to hire an aggressive lawyer who will fight to protect your rights.
To be convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence, the prosecution must prove:
- That you operated a vehicle
- That you were on a public way while operating the vehicle
- That you were under the influence of alcohol while operating the vehicle
To be “under the influence” – the prosecutor must show that you consumed some alcohol and that consumption diminished your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Alternatively, the prosecutor may simply show that your blood alcohol level while operating was .08 or higher. Since part of the burden of proof is for the prosecution to show that you consumed “some” alcohol, you should NEVER admit to having even one drink. You have a right to remain silent and you should use it. Do not do the prosecutions job for them.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Should I take the field sobriety test?
Unlike a breathalyzer test, there are no adverse consequences when you refuse to take a field sobriety test. Thus, you can politely refuse to take this test if you so choose. Often, the officer asks you to take a field sobriety test (walking a straight line, saying the alphabet backwards, etc.) in an attempt to gain more evidence of your alleged drunkenness.
Should I take the breathalyzer test?
Breathalyzer tests are unreliable and often inaccurate. However, it is important to know that a refusal to take the test will have adverse consequences. Your drivers license will be automatically suspended (180 days for the first offense). However, the fact that you refused to take the test cannot be used as evidence against you in court. If you decide to take the breathalyzer test, but disagree with its results, you should proceed (as quickly as possible) to your nearest hospital or your primary care physician’s office. Your doctor can perform a second test to check for alcohol in your system – a blood test is the most reliable and recommended method of testing (especially if you are confident of your sobriety). You will be responsible for paying the cost of this second test, but it is well worth the effort to have physical evidence of your blood alcohol concentration. The breathalyzer taken by the police is a disposable test and the results cannot be saved to be analyzed (or discredited) by your defense attorney at a later date.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence and need a Boston DUI/OUI Attorney, be sure to contact Attorney Maura Melcher TODAY.