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How does Massachusetts fare with drunk driving laws?

Massachusetts has strict laws on the books for various criminal acts. Drunk driving is one. OUI penalties and laws are some of the toughest in the nation. Massachusetts ranked 11th overall based on 21 different metrics in a report.

The report put together information from the National Highway Safety Administration, Governors Highway Safety Administration and National Council of State Legislatures. It looked at laws, penalties and statistics for drunk driving arrests.

Accused of shoplifting? Here's what you need to do

If you're accused of shoplifting, don't assume that the penalty will be so light that it's not worth fighting. Depending on the circumstances, including the item in question and value, penalties can be severe.

The manner in which you fight a shoplifting charge depends largely on the details of your arrest, including the evidence presented against you. With the right approach, you can get your charges dropped or reduced.

Potential consequences of refusing a breath test

Many drivers are aware that they may be able to refuse a breath test in Massachusetts. While this may help them to avoid a drunk driver charge, it is not without consequences. According to Mass.gov, if a police officer suspects a driver of operating a vehicle under the influence, the officer may ask the driver to take a breath test.

If the driver refuses to consent to this, then the arresting officer may take immediate action in the following ways. They may decide to impound the vehicle for 12 hours. If the driver’s license or learning permit is issued by the Commonwealth, they may confiscate it. They may provide a written notice explaining that the driver’s license is immediately revoked or suspended. They also have 24 hours to inform the Registry of Motor Vehicles of the suspension.

3 ways impaired driving charges can change your career

When people find themselves facing criminal charges, their first focus is usually criminal penalties, including fines and jail time. They usually only start to think about the secondary, social consequences after they know what criminal penalties, like the loss of their license, they have to deal with.

Unfortunately, those social penalties can often be far more severe than the legal consequences, particularly for a first conviction. Failing to consider them as you plan for handling the charges could be a major mistake.

3 phases of drunk driving detection, 3 impairment tests

Police officers who have a reason to believe that a driver is impaired is going to take steps to determine if their belief is correct. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes three phases that must occur in the drunk driving detection process.

The only exception to the following three is if a driver is in a crash and is exhibiting signs of impairment.

  • The vehicle is in motion
  • The officer makes personal contact
  • There is a pre-arrest screening

Accused of dorm room theft? Plan a defense quickly

Living in a dorm isn't the easiest thing to do, but it is a good college experience to have. One aspect of dorm life that takes some getting used to is having to live in the same room as a stranger or not your first choice for a roommate even if you do know your roommate.

As is the case with any new living arrangements, there is going to be a learning curve. It is imperative that you and your roomie establish clear guidelines about using each other's stuff. Remember to respect anything that you use and be sure to return it. While it might seem far-fetched, you can be accused of theft if you borrow items and don't return them.

Do I really need a driver’s license to get a job?

Many people in Massachusetts are surprised to learn that not having a driver’s license can limit their ability to find work. Even if you do not need to drive for work as a trucker, pizza delivery guy or cab driver, you may need a driver’s license as proof of identity. Some companies may also consider the reason you got your license revoked as a red flag. Note that an in-depth background check is required for many jobs, such as in security or banking, so a record leading to a suspension or revocation could cost you that job.

According to the Atlantic, conservative policymakers have urged people to get a job to earn their way out of poverty. However, having no driver’s license can make this next to impossible. Jobs that do not require a driver’s license tend to be those at which you may earn very low wages, such as blue-collar work. Not having a driver’s license might also make it difficult to get to work on time. Employers may take this into consideration when making their hiring decision, especially if you live some distance away from work.

Number of deaths related to driving impaired in Massachusetts

According to the CDC, between 2003 and 2012, 1,370 people lost their lives due to alcohol-impaired drivers in Massachusetts. Sometimes these people were passengers in the vehicle, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Other times, it was the driver themselves.

The CDC estimates that the death rate per 100,000 across all age groups is 1.8 in Massachusetts. The national average is much higher at 3.3. The national average is highest for the age groups 21 to 34, at 6.7 deaths per 100,000 population. In contrast, Massachusetts stood at 3.3 for the same age group.

Are study drugs appropriate for college students?

College students have a lot of things to think about. For some who are just coming into higher institutes of learning, the realization that they have to behave as adults, set their own schedules and keep up with their courses can be very stressful. They may quickly realize that there aren't enough hours to attend to these responsibilities, hold a job and still have time to spend with friends.

Students use a host of methods to stay awake to study. Some will go to a public location like a restaurant, coffee shop or library in the hope that they will be able to stay awake to get their work done. Others scale back social activities and use that extra time to study. It is also possible that some will turn to "study drugs" to be able to stay awake and help them to focus.

How police officers detect DWI and how much it costs you

When it comes to detecting DWI, in Massachusetts there are standardized field sobriety tests police officers may rely on. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these guidelines are in place to reduce injuries, deaths and crashes caused by drivers under the influence.

In the training guidelines provided by the NHTSA, police officers are reminded that more than half of the population consider themselves drinkers, while 6.3% are heavy drinkers. The document also defines binge alcohol use, which involves having five or more drinks within a few hours of each other. Additionally, it notes that impairment may result from illicit drug use. Here are some of the signs of impairment that police officers look out for:

  •          Stopping in the traffic lane for no apparent reason
  •          Difficulty maintaining proper lane position
  •          Driving without headlights at night
  •          Slow response to traffic signals
  •          Speeding and reckless driving

There is no time to waste. Let us begin building a strong defense for you now.

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