What is an OUI Drug Charge in Massachusetts?
What Is Included In An OUI Charge?
Any OUI charge is a serious matter worthy of a defense attorney’s time. If the police officer alleges that drugs are involved as well, you must be prepared for how to respond to this.
Currently, the state of Massachusetts is evaluating a proposal to incorporate marijuana into OUI offenses and charges. For now, though you need to be familiar with the possibility of an OUI drug charge and what it could mean for you. The state of Massachusetts prohibits driving under the influence of drugs in the same way that driving under the influence of alcohol is forbidden.
What if the Officers Don’t Think Alcohol Was Involved?
If there is insufficient evidence of OUI alcohol, a police officer could still be under the impression that you are impaired and could charge you with driving under the influence of drugs. Many officers will even attempt to bring an alcohol charge first before an OUI drug charge because it is easier for the officer to charge operating under the influence of alcohol. The Commonwealth has a great deal of responsibility to prove at trial in order to be effective with an OUI drug charge. This includes:
- The Commonwealth might struggle to prove what drug you were under the influence of.
- Many officers have not been formally trained as a drug recognition expert which means that the subjective information of charging you is based only on their opinion.
- Expert testimony might be required in order to prove the impact that any drug would have on your ability to drive. Even if a drug was ingested, the Commonwealth still bears the burden of responsibility for showing that the drug would impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
- Field sobriety test detects alcohol impairment and not drug impairment. Because the most common charge is operating under the influence of alcohol, this means that a person who is accused of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs must be ready to fight back by speaking with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney since it will be difficult for the Commonwealth to prove the depth of these charges in a case.
Schedule a consultation today with an experienced Massachusetts OUI lawyer.