Vernon Perry, 52, was arrested Saturday in Seekonk on his 11th drunk-driving charge. According to Seekonk police, Perry was driving at a high speed on Taunton Ave. when he crossed a double yellow line. It is alleged that Perry failed field sobriety tests and gave a Rhode Island address even though he had an “active” Massachusetts license. Perry refused a breathalyzer. His 2001 Saturn was impounded. Police didn’t say when Perry will be arraigned in Taunton District Court.
This man is facing mandatory jail time and large fines, and he should speak with an attorney who can be present with him at his arraignment.
Often times refusing a breathalyzer, as Perry did, leaves good options for combating drunk-driving charges. In Massachusetts, you do not have to take a breathalyzer test. Prosecutors will not be able to introduce the refusal against you at a trial, but there will be license-suspension consequences, the length of which will depend on whether it’s a 1st offense, 2nd offense, etc.
Even where, as is alleged here, a person fails field sobriety tests, there can be several reasons for that other than being drunk. For example, being nervous, tired, overweight, or elderly can cause a person to fail a field sobriety test. These kinds of tests can also be administered improperly or under improper conditions.
When a car is impounded, as this man’s was, police can make a warrantless inventory search of the contents of the car. This is because people have a lesser expectation of privacy in their cars than in their homes and because inventory searches protect police from claims and protect the car owner’s property. However, the inventorying process cannot be used as a ploy to search for incriminating evidence.
If you would like to speak with a defense attorney, call Altman & Altman at 617. 492.3000 or 800.481.6199 (toll free) or contact us online.