Beware of drunk driving this summer in Massachusetts

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2018 | Uncategorized |

People who are going on vacation often adopt an “anything goes” attitude in their quest to relax and enjoy their trip. While this is a good attitude to have with most things, it shouldn’t ever apply to drinking and driving.

There is almost nothing that can ruin the fun of a vacation faster than being arrested. Unfortunately, that is exactly what might happen to some individuals who aren’t careful to avoid driving after they’ve had a few drinks.

Increase in drunk driving during the summer

When you look at the most popular drinking days of the year, the Fourth of July is ranked third on the list. It is only outdone by New Year’s Day and Christmas. Other days of the summer are also associated with an increase in drinking. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, people tend to travel and have more drinks. This can make for a deadly combination.

Drunk driving in Massachusetts

For people who are traveling into Massachusetts this summer, knowing the local laws about drunk driving can help you avoid making mistakes that will land you in jail with a court case pending. This state uses the “operating under the influence” system of handling drunk drivers instead of the “driving under the influence” system. This might seem like a small distinction but it means more than you think.

In Massachusetts, you can be charged with drunk driving even if the vehicle isn’t in motion. Even turning the key in the ignition to get the air conditioner to turn on while you are in the car can lead to your facing criminal charges if you have been drinking. They key is that you have to be engaged in the operation of the vehicle to face the charge. There isn’t any distinction that the vehicle has to be in motion.

The blood alcohol concentration limits in Massachusetts are similar to other areas. Underage drivers have a limit of .02 percent, commercial drivers have a limit of .04 percent, and other drivers are subject to a legal limit of .08 percent.

You can’t get out of these charges by refusing to take the test. Massachusetts has an implied consent law, which means you can face legal issues for refusing the test, but you do have the right to refuse. You would have to face the consequences of that decision, though, should that be the route you choose.