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The State of Massachusetts refers to drunk driving crimes as OUI: “Operating under the influence.” Seeing flashing lights and hearing sirens behind you can be terrifying, regardless of whether you are on your way home from work or a night out drinking. If you have been pulled over while on the road and arrested for OUI, it is important to know you have rights and options. You do not have to answer any questions from law enforcement, and the first thing you should do is seek legal counsel.
The very first call you should make is to Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC. For more than 15 years, Attorney Adams has proudly defended the residents of Hampshire and the surrounding communities. As a former member of the Northampton City Council and a variety of other legal associations, he is well-known among judges, prosecutors, and court staff, giving you a respected voice in the courtroom.
What Is an OUI Charge?
Contrary to what many people think, a drunk driving arrest is far more than a traffic ticket — this is a criminal offense that can lead to jail time, a loss of your driving privileges, and much more. If you’ve been arrested, you may be feeling confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. Act quickly to protect your rights, future, and freedom by contacting Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC.
Don’t let a mistake decide your future. Call Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC at (414) 928-8840 or contact us online to get your free consultation.
What Constitutes a DUI?
Under Massachusetts law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on any public way while possessing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (.02% or more for drivers under the age of 21) or while under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or drugs. A driver is considered to be “under the influence” if their ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of substances.
It is quite possible for a driver to be charged with OUI even if their BAC level is below .08%. As long as a police officer believes the driver is too impaired to safely operate the vehicle, they can be arrested for OUI.
Penalties Upon Conviction
The penalties for an OUI conviction will depend on the severity of the offense and whether the driver has prior OUI convictions on their record:
- First offense: Up to 2.5 years in jail; $500-$5,000 in fines; one year of license revocation
- Second offense: 60 days to 2.5 years in jail (minimum of 30 days); $600-$10,000 in fines; two years of license revocation
- Third offense: 180 days to 2.5 years in jail or two to five years in prison (minimum of 150 days); $1,000-$15,000 in fines; eight years of license revocation
All convicted drivers will also be required to complete a substance abuse education program or treatment.
First or second offenders (within 10 years) may enter a probation agreement instead of serving out the standard penalties:
- First-time offender: One year of probation; mandatory driver alcohol education; drug and alcohol treatment; up to 30 hours of community service; and 45-90 days of license suspension
- Second-time offender: Two years of probation; 14 days of inpatient treatment and subsequent outpatient treatment
Call Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC at (414) 928-8840 or contact us online do not plead guilty without getting your free consultation.
“He was in my corner the whole time, got me a big win and my life back. He is amazing.” - CJ
“He is the best defense attorney out there.” - JA
Field Sobriety Tests (FST) are roadside balancing and coordination tests administered by police officers to determine whether or not to arrest someone for an OUI. There are several types of FSTs, including the one leg stand test, the walk and turn test, and the horizontal gaze and nystagmus test.
It is unfortunately common that if law enforcement requires a driver to perform an FST, they have already decided the driver will be arrested; the tests are used primarily to collect more information to establish probable cause for OUI arrest.
How do you fight field sobriety test result?
There are a variety of ways to contest an FST result and challenge the officer’s conclusion that the driver failed these tests. Physical conditions (e.g., weight, age, health issues) can make performing these tests difficult, for instance. Weather conditions, as well as conditions on the road (e.g., being on a hill or steep incline), can make balancing on one foot or walking in a straight line challenging. There is also a possibility that the arresting officer administered the tests incorrectly.
According to The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), FSTs have minimal reliability; the one leg stand test had a 65% reliability rate, the walk and turn test was 68% reliable, and the horizontal gaze test had a 71% reliability rate. Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC may be able to help you build a strong case against faulty and incriminating FST results.
If you have been pulled over for drunk driving, it is vital that you remain silent to the extent that you can. You are not obligated to agree to any type of field testing, such as a finger to the nose or walking in a straight line. Jesse Adams Law Firm LLC advises you not to do any tests, despite the possibility of license suspension and other consequences, because these results can further incriminate you. The firm can help you deal with the consequences and get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Schedule a free initial consultation with with a Hampshire OUI defense lawyer to discuss your case in more detail.