The landscape for OUI defense in Massachusetts became dramatically more challenging in 2005 with the passage of Melanie’s Law. In the past, most lawyers would advise their clients to refuse to take a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test if there were any chance they could fail. Without evidence from those tests, the Commonwealth had little evidence to convict you. However, after the passage of Melanie’s law, the government can convict you for drunk driving even if you refused to take a breathalyzer test. There are now two ways the commonwealth can use to prove you were operating under the influence:
- If you submitted to a blood alcohol test on a certified breathalyzer machine and your blood alcohol content was .08 or higher.
- If you refused to submit to a breathalyzer test, the Commonwealth can use the observations of the police, including the field sobriety tests (if you agreed to take these tests). This is known as the “per se” theory
If you are convicted of OUI/DUI/DWI and it is your first offense, you face the possibility of a prison sentence, a fine of up to $5,000, and a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. If you are convicted of a second OUI/DUI/DWI offense, you could face a minimum of 30-day prison term, a fine of up to $10,000, a two-year suspension of your driver’s license, and having an expensive interlock device installed on your car for two years.
The defense attorneys at Arnold & Kangas, P.C. in Concord, Massachusetts, are dedicated to putting you in the best place you can be following an OUI arrest. This means protecting your ability to drive and helping you avoid the career repercussions that can result from an OUI/DUI/DWI conviction.
If the police have charged you with OUI/DUI/DWI, contact our attorneys to discuss your rights and options. We are conveniently located in Damonmill Square in Concord, Massachusetts.