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Boston OUI/DUI Defense Blog

What field sobriety tests are used in Massachusetts?

A field sobriety test is often administered by a law enforcement officer when trying to assess if a person is intoxicated. According to the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, there are three main field sobriety tests used. These tests have been proven through scientific testing as an accurate way to gauge intoxication and include walk and turn, one-leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus.

If you are asked to do the walk and turn test, you will be instructed to walk with your feet heel to toe along an imaginary straight line. You will take nine steps away from the officer and nine steps back towards the officer. He or she will be watching you to assess how well you followed the instructions and to spot any key indicators you may be having trouble balancing, remembering the instructions or carrying out the instructions.

How common is underage drunk driving?

Previously, we reviewed some of the consequences that may come with underage drunk driving, from fines and license suspension to the different ways that these charges can interfere with school. If you are a young driver, a young person who rides along with friends or the parent of a teen driver, it may be helpful to understand how prevalent underage drunk driving is in Massachusetts and across the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of high school-aged drunk drivers has decreased by more than 50 percent since 1991. That said, it remains a serious issue and continues to occur across the nation at a high rate. In fact, it is estimated that there are roughly 2.4 million instances of drivers who are in high school operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol each month. Moreover, estimates suggest that approximately one out of each 10 high school students will make the decision to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Understanding the possible consequences of underage DUI

From costly and dangerous wrecks to license suspension, drunk driving can turn lives completely upside down. At Attorney John B. Seed, we know all about the various ways that people have had their lives ruined as a result of these allegations. However, for those who have not yet reached the age to legally consume alcohol, drunk driving charges can be particularly problematic.

Teens may get behind the wheel after drinking for numerous reasons. Sometimes, a young driver may not realize that he or she had alcohol in their system when operating a motor vehicle, while others may feel pressured by their peers to carry out risky behavior. Unfortunately, those who are under 21 and drive with alcohol in their system may find their entire lives upended.

5 possible collateral consequences of a DUI conviction

You have a lot to think about when you are facing a drunk driving charge. One of the main things you need to think about is your defense plan. While some people want to have a not guilty verdict at the end of the case, others simply want to ensure that they are facing minimal consequences. As you work on your defense plan, think about how these collateral consequences, which aren't issued by the court, might impact your life.

#1: Increased insurance rates

Is buzzed driving against the law?

On this blog, various drunk driving topics have been examined, from statistics on driving under the influence to some of the potential consequences of DUI. However, you may be wondering if buzzed driving is against the law, especially with some of the advertisements that are played across the country. In Boston, and all over Massachusetts, it is crucial to understand when the consumption of alcohol prevents one from legally being able to operate a vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is against the law for people in every state to operate a vehicle if their blood alcohol content (BAC) level is 0.08 or greater. However, the NHTSA points out that driving with even smaller amounts of alcohol in your system could create problems. For example, even if your BAC level is below the legal limit, your chances of becoming involved in a traffic accident or experiencing another problem can increase due to the consumption of small amounts of alcohol.

How long will I lose my license for drunk driving?

If you are charged with operating a motor vehicle while drunk, you may face all sorts of penalties that can turn your life upside down, such as a prison sentence, stiff fines and social repercussions. In Boston, and all throughout the state of Massachusetts, DUI charges can also result in the suspension of your driver’s license, which can affect you in multiple ways. For example, it may become hard to get to work and you may no longer be able to run errands.

If you are wondering how long your license may be suspended after being accused of drunk driving, it is important to review some of the factors that can affect the length of a suspension. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, licenses are suspended for one year for first-time offenders. However, the penalties increase significantly for those with previous drunk driving charges on their record. For a second offense, licenses are suspended for two years, while third offenses result in an eight-year license suspension. For a fourth offense, the state will suspend a driver’s license for 10 years and fifth offenses lead to a permanent, lifelong suspension.

Alcohol use and on-the-job accidents

When it comes to drunk driving, this blog has addressed many of the setbacks that people accused of this offense could face. From prison sentences to fines and license suspension, drunk driving charges are often devastating for people in Boston, and all across the state of Massachusetts. However, there are certain circumstances where drunk driving can create additional challenges, such as those who are charged with DUI while working. At the offices of Attorney John B. Seed, we understand how devastating this can be for truck drivers, taxi drivers and many others who drive to earn a living.

When someone is found to have been driving drunk while at work, their career may suffer permanent damage. Even after they have moved past the penalties for DUI, they may never be able to find another position in their line of work, which can lead to financial hardships, depression and other difficulties. Sometimes, people may not even realize they were driving under the influence after consuming too much alcohol during a lunch break, while others may be falsely accused of DUI altogether.

Driver whose license was suspended charged with DUI

When someone loses their license, life may become challenging in various ways. On top of struggling to get to work, college or take care of other responsibilities, people may feel helpless and could face harsh penalties if they are caught operating a vehicle wih a suspended license. In Boston, and all other parts of Massachusetts, it is essential for drivers who are worried about losing their license to comprehensively evaluate their options.

According to law enforcement officials in Maine, a driver was taken into custody for operating a vehice while under the influence of alcohol. Following the alleged incident, which occurred in Gloucester, authorities say they discovered that the man had been convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated six times after looking at his records. Officials say that they could detect alcohol on the driver's breath and that he was taken into custody after he was unable to pass multiple sobriety tests.

DUI and license suspension

From time behind bars to financial penalties and losing your job, drunk driving charges can shatter your life in diverse ways. Unfortunately, they may also result in your driver's license being suspended, which can also create multiple problems for you on a daily basis. At the law offices of Attorney John B. Seed, we know all too well how devastating this can be for drivers in Boston, and in cities around the whole state of Massachusetts. If you have been accused of driving under the influence, it is imperative to immediately review your legal options.

Losing your license may prevent you from driving to and from work, keep you from running errands and interfere with your ability to pursue your interests and enjoy life. Having your license suspended for any amount of time can create financial and emotional problems and change the way that your friends and family members see you. Depending on the details of your case, you may be able to obtain a hardship license, which could restore some normalcy. However, this is not an option for everyone and if you are facing drunk driving charges you should not waste any time when it comes to defending yourself. There are a number of details that could have a significant impact on the outcome of your DUI case, which could have repercussions for years to come.

Limits and testing may lead to more drugged driving arrests in MA

A person who is charged with a DUI in Massachusetts may have difficulty contesting the matter in court if the chemical tests reveal that the blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Drugs may also affect driving skills, but as NBC Boston notes, proof of the impairment may not be as easy to come by for law enforcement officers attempting to make an arrest. In addition, many authorities are untrained in positively identifying whether a driver is high.

Even so, officers issued more than 1,500 citations for operating under the influence of drugs during 2015. These include cases involving marijuana, opioids, prescription drugs and other substances. Recently proposed legislation recommends setting a legal limit for marijuana use, but currently, there is no defined threshold for this or any other drug.

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