In MA – and all states – a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher will likely result in an OUI or DWI conviction. If you happen to be under 21 at the time of your arrest, you can be convicted if your BAC is .01 percent. And the penalties for even a first-offense OUI can wreak havoc on a person’s life.
Do Any of these Scenarios Sound Familiar?
Fortunately, there are multiple defenses against drunk driving charges. Maybe the breath test readings were inaccurate, or maybe you were never read the Miranda warning. Although an above-limit breath test reading is difficult to challenge, it is not impossible. If any of the scenarios below sound familiar, an experienced MA OUI defense attorney may be able to get your charges reduced, or dismissed entirely.
- No probable cause: If police stopped your vehicle and arrested you for OUI without probable cause, any evidence may be inadmissible in court. There are some exceptions to the probable cause rule, however. Namely, checkpoints and roadblocks.
- No Miranda warnings: If you were taken into police custody but weren’t read the Miranda warnings prior to questioning, any statement you made likely cannot be used against you.
- The officer failed to warn you that refusing a breath test would result in an automatic license suspension: If you were never warned of this consequence, breath test results may be inadmissible in court.
- The breath test was administered incorrectly: If the officer did not comply with state requirements dictating how the breath test should be maintained and calibrated, the test results may be thrown out.
- Inaccurate test results: Test results may also be inadmissible if a faulty machine, an incompetent technician or other circumstances created the potential for error. Breath test machines can give inaccurate readings due to certain foods and medications. For example, taking a non-impairing prescription drug prior to the test could lead to a misleading result.
The above defenses have the best shot at being successful with the help of an experienced Boston OUI defense attorney. Even a first-offense OUI can lead to license suspension, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), hefty fines and jail time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an attorney is not necessary. The right legal counsel can be the difference between a clean record and time behind bars.
Penalties for OUI Offenses in MA 1st Offense – Up to 30 months in jail and fines of up to $5,000
2nd Offense – Up to 30 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000
3rd Offense – Up to five years in jail and fines of up to $25,000
In addition to the above penalties, an OUI conviction also carries a license suspension and – in some cases – the need to install an IID in your vehicle. For a first offense, the standard license suspension is one year. For a second offense, you will lose your license for two years, and a third offense will result in an eight-year license suspension. Long story short, don’t drink and drive. But if you made a mistake, hire an experienced attorney today. Continue reading