Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Articles Posted in OUI/Drunk Driving

As you may recall, I have been entrenched in the criminal justice system, as well as a few related arenas, for over 30 years. Over the last several years, I have been doing so as Of Counsel at Altman & Altman, LLP in Cambridge

The last few years, of course, have also brought me the noteworthy Ian Keefe as my associate here.

Yesterday, as I was busy turning 57 years old, I took some time, as we often do at birthdays, taking stock of the situation.

You know, there is a reason that the recognition on www.Expertise.com I recently got mentioned both Altman and me.

Altman & Altman, LLP is primarily a personal injury law firm. However, the Altmans realized the wisdom in having other attorneys, like me, around so that their clients can receive expert representation in other areas of law as well.

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Now, I know we are in the middle of a three part posting and I owe you the third part. I will post that third part tomorrow. Today, however, something that should be more urgently on your mind.

It could be a drunk driving charge. It could be an allegation of domestic abuse. It could even be an unexpected accusation of rape.

People generally do not venture out expecting to be making an involuntary stop at the local police department before they return home.

But it happens. Especially on holiday weekends.

So, you’d best think about it. When the criminal justice wheels start turning with you inside them, you just might find it harder to think clearly and come up with a plan.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Holiday Police Encounters

Over the holiday weekend of course, court is not open. Therefore, should you end up in police custody, you may have to stay there until Tuesday comes along.

“Isn’t there something I can do about that? I don’t want to spend the weekend in jail.”

 

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If the allegations against a certain 28-year-old Boston woman, hereinafter The “Defendant”, are true, she has demonstrated quite an example on what not to do.

According to the Boston Herald, law enforcement says that the Defendant was driving while intoxicated. This, in itself, is against the law and very unwise. But that’s not all.

The police also allege that the Defendant was driving at a very high rate of speed. Certainly, the speed was well over the speed limit. Also not a great idea. Still not all.

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If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) you are automatically subjected to stricter rules and regulations. You may also face harsher penalties for traffic violations and other offenses. If you are convicted of a ‘major violation’, whether you are driving your personal vehicle or a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you will be immediately disqualified from operating a CMV for one year. One of the most common major violations for individuals with CDLs is driving while intoxicated (DWI). Contact a Boston DWI Lawyer Today.

Major violations for CDL Holders

CDL violations are classified as major or serious. Major violations are the greater of the two and result in immediate suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss of a driver’s CDL. Serious violations can also result in suspension, revocation, or lifetime loss, however, this typically only occurs on a cumulative basis. Examples of major violations include:

Being charged with a DUI, DWI, or OUI while operating your personal motor vehicle

Operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher

Refusing to submit to an alcohol test

The first major violation will result in a one-year suspension of your CDL. However, if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time of the violation, you may receive a three-year suspension. The second major violation will result in a lifetime suspension of your CDL, but certain reinstatement options may be available after ten years.

Any Amount of Alcohol Can Affect Your Ability to Operate a CMV

It is also important to note that if you are caught driving a CMV with any detectable amount of alcohol in your system, but less than 0.04%, you will be required to go out of service for at least 24 hours.

The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999

You don’t have to be driving a commercial vehicle to lose your CDL for DWI. If you get charged with any kind of drug or alcohol offense, the charges will result in a suspension of your CDL as well. This suspension or revocation is above and beyond the standard fines and penalties for DWI charges. You may lose your personal driver’s license, spend time in jail, and face hefty fines. The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 establishes the following guidelines for CDL holders:

If a driver’s personal vehicle license is suspended or revoked due to an alcohol violation, the CDL will be revoked for one year.

If a driver receives a second alcohol conviction, the CDL will be revoked for life.

If you have a CDL, with the exception of parking violations, all traffic violations must be reported to your employer within 30 days. In addition, depending on the severity of your charges and your history, criminal penalties may apply. Continue reading

A woman from Medway, Massachusetts is facing charges following her sixth arrest for driving under the influence. The charges will be brought against 52 year old Corinne Zaniboni in Framingham District Court on Wednesday in an effort to deem whether or not she is a danger to the public. Zaniboni was arrested on Thursday following an accident in Holliston where she crashed her vehicle into a stone wall. No one was injured during the incident.

Holliston Police responded to a call for a car accident around 8:30 PM Thursday night at the intersection of Garrett Way and Highland Street. Upon arriving on scene, responding officers found Corinne Zaniboni’s Toyota Camry had slammed into a brick wall along the side of the road. The report for the accident was filed by Holliston Police Sgt. Matthew J. Stone at Framingham District Court on Friday, a day after the accident had occurred.

According to the report provided by Sgt. Matthew Stone, Zaniboni had been attempting to reverse her vehicle when he arrived on scene. She repeatedly apologized to Sgt. Stone saying “I’m so sorry. So sorry about all of this.” It was at this time that Sgt. Stone detected alcohol on her breath and ordered Zaniboni to take several field sobriety tests. Sgt. Stone went on to say that Zaniboni had been slurring her speech during the encounter, and that she had failed each of the sobriety tests he administered. Zaniboni agreed to take a portable breathalyzer test that Sgt. Stone suggested after she had failed the other sobriety tests—she blew a .29 on the breathalyzer, which is well above the .08 legal limits. Portable breathalyzer tests, however, are inadmissible in court. Sgt. Stone has stated that upon arrival at the police department he administered a second breathalyzer test to Zaniboni in which she blew a .30.

The Executive Office of Public Safety recently released a report detailing their investigation into 39,000 breath test results. The investigation started when questions arose regarding the calibration of the breathalyzer machines. The report found that in fewer than 150 cases, breath test personnel should have deemed the results to be invalid. Because of human error, the values were found to be outside the acceptable tolerance range set by Massachusetts’ regulations.

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Law enforcement is often on high alert for drunken behavior…particularly drunk driving…during holidays. Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is one such holiday.

‘Nuff said.

Apparently, Franklin’s Dominick Revell, 43, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) did not get that particular memo. The Commonwealth alleges that he was operating his vehicle under the influence on Tuesday.

So they arrested him.

The Defendant was brought to court and arraigned on Wednesday at the West Roxbury District Court. The Commonwealth told the court that he was found unconscious at about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday in a car outside a McDonald’s restaurant on American Legion Highway in Roslindale. It was there, they claimed, that he had allegedly rear-ended a 77-year-old Mattapan man’s vehicle in the drive-through.

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Robert E. Murphy of Ashland, a 59-year-old (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) gentleman is, or was, a Hopkinton school bus driver. He has now been arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle to endanger. According to WBZ, this is his third OUI case, the last having taken place 25 years ago.

The Defendant’s arrest, together with his history, has touched off renewed interest into how many drunk driving cases a person can have before a license is suspended or lost.

According to the report, it is very difficult to have one’s driving priviledge suspended or terminated in Massachusetts. The article explains that “In general, just being charged with an OUI offense-no matter how many times-is not enough to have a license suspended or revoked.”

Today is Memorial Day. I know that this is not the subject matter originally intended when this holiday was named, but just the suggestion of “memories” makes me…well…remember. I think back to when things seemed more simple in many ways. Sometimes that was good, sometimes it was bad.

Often, I hear people opine that folks were more civil back in yesteryear. Well, here is a story which shows that not everybody is immediately argumentative when it comes to law enforcement. Sometimes, the alleged criminal is completely cooperative.

Maybe even too cooperative for their own good.

Boston University Police Department increased alcohol-control efforts, following a spike in alcohol-fueled hospital runs, in the first week of February. BU Today, reported that 11 university students were hospitalized for alcohol related incidents. Half of the transports were under 21. In the state of Massachusetts, it is illegal to consume or possess alcohol before 21 years of age.

BUPD Captain Molloy reports that alcohol transports are up 7 percent over the fall semester. This concerning rise has the police department beefing up their patrols. Captain Molloy explains, “We are going to begin plainclothes enforcement,” stationing officers around and near the campus. Students should expect raids from officers dressed in plain clothing at loud or reported parties. In addition to plainclothes enforcement, BUPD plans on increasing police patrols, breaking up all raucous parties, and arresting and citing offenders.
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