Tiger Woods was recently arrested on drugged driving charges after police found him asleep behind the wheel of his Mercedes. When police woke him up, the golf superstar was stopped in the right lane with his car running. Woods failed several field sobriety tests, but a breath test registered no alcohol in his system. Although this story is unfortunate, it does provide some valuable lessons about drunk, and drugged, driving.
- You Don’t Have to Drink Alcohol to Get an OUI: In every state, including Massachusetts, drugged driving is included in OUI laws, and there are specific charges depending on whether the drugs were legal, illicit, or prescription. OUI stands for operating under the influence, and it doesn’t only apply to alcohol. Even if you are impaired by a legal, valid prescription medication you can be charged with, and convicted of, OUI. However, with the help of a skilled Boston OUI defense lawyer, you may be able to convince a prosecutor that the incident was an honest mistake. If no injuries or damages occurred as a result, you’ll have a much better chance of a favorable outcome.
- You Can Get Charged with OUI Even if You Weren’t Driving: If you are in or around the car, you can still get charged with OUI. The case above is a perfect example; although Tiger wasn’t actively driving at the time of the arrest it was apparent that he had been driving. Even if he had pulled off the road, onto a shoulder or into a parking area, he would likely have been arrested. If Tiger had gotten out of the car and fallen asleep leaning up against it, the outcome would have almost certainly been the same. If police believe you were driving, or intended to drive, you can be charged with OUI. The moral to this story – if you are drunk or drugged, stay far away from your car, unless a perfectly-sober driver is driving. A MA OUI defense attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been charged with drunk or drugged driving.
- Field Sobriety Tests are “Optional”: This is true; you can refuse both field sobriety tests and breath and blood tests. However, you may face harsh consequences for doing so. In most cases, field sobriety tests, such as saying your ABCs backwards and touching your nose with alternating fingertips, can be refused without consequences. But refusing a breath test comes with mandatory consequences. In MA, refusing a breath test will give you a mandatory 180-day license suspension. Despite this mandatory suspension, it is sometimes in an individual’s best interest to refuse the breath test. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; the decision to refuse or not to refuse must be based on multiple factors, including the severity of your offense, prior OUI convictions, prior criminal history, and personal-family-work-life situation.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Top Criminal Defense Law Firm in MA
If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of individuals charged with crimes for more than 50 years. Our knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced, or dismissed altogether. Especially when it comes to OUI charges, alternative sentencing options and alcohol education programs are often a better option than hefty fines and time behind bars. At Altman & Altman, LLP, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Don’t go through this difficult process alone. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.