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Boston OUI/DUI Defense Blog

Will you need to install an ignition interlock device?

Operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OUI) can impact your life in many ways. You could find yourself paying big fines and spending time in jail, and you could lose your license for a period of time. Even after your license suspension, it is possible you will not have full legal driving privileges.

Many Massachusetts drivers accused of OUI offenses discover that the only way to regain their right to drive is to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. Many people find these devices annoying and humiliating, as they require a driver to perform a chemical test before they can start their vehicle.

Criminal defense for first-time offenders

If you have been accused of a crime, you may be feeling extremely nervous, especially if you have never been in trouble with the law. It is important to take any charge seriously, even if you consider it to be minor or untrue. Any criminal matter can have a far-reaching impact on your future, including your career opportunities.

A good first step after a charge is to learn about the possible defense strategies you could use. With trustworthy advice about Massachusetts law and defense approaches, you will stand the best chance of having a successful outcome.

Other challenges you may face after losing your license

On our blog, we have written about some of the hardships that people have to endure after they lose their driver's license, from the hurdles that parents may have to overcome to problems related to your job. There are many other ways in which someone's life may be upended as a result of license suspension, however, and we will discuss some of them in this blog post. In Boston, and cities around the entire state of Massachusetts, it is pivotal for those who have had their driving privileges taken away to be aware of their options.

If you cannot drive, you may be unable to pick up a loved one from the airport, which can be especially upsetting during the holiday season when many people visit friends and relatives. You could also have to miss out on important events that you were looking forward to, as well as hobbies and activities that you enjoy. There are all sorts of ways in which your life may be thrown off by not being able to drive and you may not realize the full extent of this loss until you realize that you will have to miss out.

Commercial drivers and driving under the influence

Commercial drivers in Massachusetts are responsible to the public in a variety of ways, from driving children to and from school to transporting hazardous materials. As a result, there are stricter laws and penalties regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to FindLaw, commercial drivers are randomly tested for alcohol use as well as for drugs such as opiates, cocaine, PCP, marijuana and amphetamines. The legal BAC limit is also .04, which is much lower than the .08 limit for other motor vehicle operators. Along with not being able to drive a commercial vehicle if alcohol has been consumed in the previous four hours, the rules are a bit different in terms of the blood alcohol test. While other drivers automatically lose their licenses if they refuse the test, commercial drivers are immediately pleading guilty to a DUI if they refuse.

Don’t make any of these mistakes at an OUI/DUI checkpoint

Some Massachusetts motorists are surprised to find themselves facing a checkpoint set up to identify drunk drivers. As you approach an OUI/DUI checkpoint, you don't want to do anything to make matters worse or more complicated. Instead, your goal should be to answer any questions asked of you and move on with the rest of your evening.

Unfortunately, some people don't know the first thing about making their way through an OUI/DUI checkpoint. They panic and make mistakes, thus raising suspicions and putting them at greater risk of arrest.

What to expect if you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Drivers in Massachusetts know that driving after the consumption of alcohol is not a good idea. However, you may have had just a couple glasses of wine at dinner and you assume you are under the legal limit, or perhaps you had a lot to drink and made a bad judgment call. If you are pulled over for suspicion, you can expect to be asked if you have been drinking. If you say yes, or if the officer thinks you have been, you will be asked to perform three different field sobriety tests.

According to FindLaw, these tests test the driver's physical ability to perform certain tasks, balance and level of attention. These tests have been shown to determine impairment in over 90% of those tested, and they are hard to fight in court.

Are you facing a DUI charge for the first time?

As a resident in Massachusetts who is currently facing a charge of driving while under the influence (DUI), it's important to know where you stand. Attorney John B. Seed will help you understand what your options are as you prepare to fight to defend yourself in court.

The first thing to understand is the severity of your charge. Is it your first offense? Was anything happening at the time to elevate your charge to a felony rather than a misdemeanor, such as driving with minors in your vehicle at the time of your arrest? How high was your blood alcohol content (BAC) level? Did you get into a crash, or were you pulled over for other reasons? These factors will all impact the potential consequences you may face.

Stay safe this holiday season

The holiday season in Massachusetts is festive, and people tend to drink more than normal during this time. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel after a night of partying is never smart and DUIs tend to increase during the holidays. Both partiers and hosts need to take responsibility and make sure no one gets behind the wheel after drinking.

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, many more people drink during the holidays than other times of the year and this can lead to multiple issues. Obviously car accidents and DUIs increase, but there are also more fights, falls and injuries. People who are typically not big drinkers can be especially at risk because they do not understand the effects alcohol can have and they may not be able to make smart decisions once under the influence. Some good advice everyone should follow over the holiday season includes:

  • Plan ahead and prepare to pace your drinking
  • Drink water or another non-alcoholic beverage in between each cocktail 
  • Designate a non-drinking driver or take public transportation

Do I qualify for a hardship license?

Driving to and from work is something most Massachusetts residents take for granted. However, if you have a suspended license due to operating under the influence, getting to work may be difficult. If driving is essential to your routine, you can request a suspension hearing for a hardship license at one of the RMV hearing sites.

There are different criteria for this limited access license, depending on whether this is your first or subsequent offense.

What to do if you are stopped on suspicion of DUI

Most people understand that driving under the influence is never a good idea, but everyone makes mistakes. In some situations, officers can make mistakes, too.

For example, imagine driving home on a Friday night when you swerve to avoid hitting a cat in the street. Unfortunately, an officer who was approaching from the rear saw you make the maneuver but did not see the cat. Now the officer thinks you are intoxicated and pulls you over with the intention to administer a field sobriety test and possibly charge you with driving under the influence (DUI).

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

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