…So what are your plans for this Thanksgiving? Going to hit the road? Maybe do a little celebrating?

Well, you might want to keep in mind that, despite the holiday, the Massachusetts General Laws remain in effect.

Some people seem to have forgotten.

Let’s look at the rules of the road and motor vehicle crimes.

Take the plight of 27-year-old Michael Thompson of Fall River for instance. Mr. Thompson was out for a drive last night. It did not go terribly well.

You see, according to authorities, Berkley police noticed him and believed him to be driving erratically and too fast. So they decided to pull him over.

He did not pull over.

And the chase was on. The high-speed police chase reached speeds of 90 miles per hour and went through seven towns including Taunton, Lakeville, Freetown, New Bedford and Dartmouth. It ended in Westport.

It apparently ended because the officers used tire deflation devices.

His alleged erratic driving was one thing. Now, since he would not stop, he stands awarded with additional charges, brining the tally to allegations of assault with a dangerous weapon for driving the vehicle at police, refusing to stop for a police officer, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license and texting while driving.

Early celebrating is generally allowed. Of course, there are limits. Laws against underage drinking remain in effect.

This was a painful lesson learned by Nipmuc Regional High’s cheerleading squad. You will not be seeing them on the field tomorrow. They have been banned from performing at the traditional Thanksgiving Day football game.

The accusations against them center on being caught drinking alcohol. In fact, the “party” landed two of them in the hospital.

Police say about 12 members of the team attended a sleepover at a home in Mendon last Friday. According to the homeowner, one of the girls brought a bottle of vodka as well as other alcoholic libations that had been left in a cooler and forgotten about.

The team has been banned from a today’s pep rally and tomorrow’s game against Blackstone Valley Regional.

Attorney Sam’s Take on Lucky Defendants

It is worth pointing out that the father in the second story, unlike the gentleman in the first story, had not forgotten about the applicable laws. In fact, he is the one who called 911. The authorities have indicated that, after their investigations, they decided not to bring criminal charges against any of the adults in the house because they did not know about the alcohol being consumed.

Although I am sure they are unhappy about not performing today or tomorrow, the young ladies in the story are lucky as well. It is not only adults who can be arrested for giving minors alcohol. The minors themselves can be charged. We have discussed many times how making a mistake can end up on a child’s record, thus posing an obstacle when it comes to higher education or employment. It would appear that the girls escaped that result.

Believe it or not, the alleged Mr. Roadrunner is lucky as well. He is lucky that, despite his poor judgment, according to the allegations, he did not kill somebody…including himself. When one tries to outrun the police, there are at least two things that are going to happen. One is that said person LOSe the race. The second is that whatever damage is caused to anyone during the chase will come back to haunt the soon-to-be defendant in terms of criminal charges.

So, in the words of yesteryear’s television show Hill Street Blues, “Let’s be careful out there!”

In the meantime, have a great, dafe and law-abidingThanksgiving. I will give you the day off from reading this otherwise daily criminal law blog, but I will be back on Friday.

For the original articles upon which this blog were based, please go to and

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