The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of an OUI/DUI indictment because of the Commonwealth’s violation of the “No-Fix Law”. In the case of Commonwealth v. Burnham, the appeals court upheld the trial court’s dismissal where the defendant did not receive prompt and definite notice of the OUI/DUI charge for which he was subsequently charged; and the delay in issuing the citation to him for the charge of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol was not justified under any exception. Continue reading →
In the case of Commonwealth v. Rarick, the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that, evidence of alcohol consumption, speeding, along with the officer’s opinion that he was intoxicated, was sufficient to sustain a conviction for Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol.
The defendant was stopped by police for speeding; traveling 58 mph in a 45 mph zone. Although there was no evidence before the jury of any erratic operation, field sobriety tests, nor any testimony that he was unsteady on his feet or swaying or staggering, the officer testified that he could smell a moderate odor of alcohol. The defendant also admitted to having drank a six-pack 2 hours prior.
In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Appeals Court addressed the defendant’s challenge to the lawfulness of the stop of his car based on an anonymous caller’s 911 call to the police. Prior to trial, the defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the police did not have reliable information to seize him for suspected drunk driving. He argued that the subsequent field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed, should have been suppressed as a result of the unlawful stop. The appeals court affirmed his conviction and held that the government had sufficient proven that basis of knowledge and the veracity of the anonymous caller.
The Massachusetts State Police announced that troopers will be conducting a DUI / OUI Sobriety Checkpoint at “an undisclosed location” in Bristol County on the evening of December 12, 2014. Bristol County includes the towns of Dartmouth; Easton; Mansfield; North Attleborough; Norton; Raynham; Rehoboth; Seekonk; Swansea; and Westport, et.al.
What are your rights when it comes to a OUI / DUI roadblock or, as the police like to call them, ‘sobriety checkpoints’? Under Massachusetts law, the police are entitled to conduct drunk driving roadblocks, but they must abide by certain rules and procedures… Continue reading →
In a recent unpublished decision, the Massachusetts Appeals Court reversed the conviction of a man who was found guilty of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol because his lawyer failed to introduce to the jury evidence that he had an attention deficit disorder and a learning disability. The Appeals Court agreed that his lawyer failing to introduce this evidence in his defense prejudiced him at trial, as the evidence would have explained to the jury why the defendant was not able to satisfactorily perform field sobriety tests when he was pulled over.
At trial, the Massachusetts State Police Trooper testified that after he pulled the defendant over for speeding at 94 miles per hour, he administered several field sobriety tests, and that the defendant failed them all. As a result, the trooper concluded that he was operating while under the influence of alcohol and placed him under arrest. The defendant also submitted to a breathalyzer test which yielded a reading of 0.06%.
A Massachusetts State Police Trooper was indicted this past week by a Plymouth County Grand Jury in connection with an accident last year that resulted in the death of Susan Macchi and her daughter, Juliet Macchi, 23. The trooper was charged with vehicular homicide while operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation, and carrying a firearm while intoxicated.
A trooper since 2012, he is alleged to have struck the victims car on in Plymouth and to have been driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.19% on his way home after leaving a party. The presumptive ‘limit’ in Massachusetts is 0.08%. Although there weren’t any witnesses to the accident, Plymouth police have reportedly alleged that the trooper’s car crossed into the oncoming lane.
Vehicular Homicide by OUI / DUI in Massachusetts is punishable by imprisonment to state prison for a minimum of 2.5 and a maximum of up to 15 years.
A Milford, Massachusetts woman was arrested for Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges when her minivan crashed into a quarry in Milford with her three children in the vehicle.
All three children were able to escape from the vehicle, which was partially submerged in the quarry. One of the children was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. One of the two other children sustained minor injuries while the third was not hurt.
The woman was charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Failure to Stop; and Child Endangerment while OUI / DUI.
In the recent decision of Commonwealth v. Joseph J. Canty, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that in cases where a defendant is charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, a police officer may not offer an opinion at trial as to whether the driver’s ability was diminished by the consumption of alcohol or that he was probably impaired by the consumption of alcohol.
In this case, the defendant was pulled over for erratic driving. The police officer testified at trial that the defendant breath smelled of alcohol and that he noticed his eyes were bloodshot. The officer also testified that the defendant admitted to having consumed four beer a few hours earlier. After failing several field sobriety tests, the defendant was arrested.
With this background, the police officer offered the opinion at trial that the defendant’s ability to safely operate the vehicle was diminished and that he was probably impaired.
A 21 year old Boston woman was charged with several Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges, including Vehicular Homicide by Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol, in connection with a fatal hit and run that took the life of a 63 year old woman.
According to the Boston Police Department, the defendant, who is from Dorchester, allegedly hit the woman near the intersection of Washington and Northampton Streets. The defendant is alleged to have then fled the scene. The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office further alleges that the defendant was not wearing glasses at the time of the accident, which is apparently a condition of her driver’s license restriction.
The defendant was further charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident.
A man from South Yarmouth was charged with Massachusetts Drunk Driving Charges following a crash in Hingham, including Operating Under the Influence of Drug and Child Endangerment by OUI, Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle and Possession of a Class B Substance.
According to the Hingham Police Department, the driver crashed his car at a Hingham intersection, striking the electrical box at the intersection on Route 53. Along with a front seat passenger in the car, the driver had his 2 month old infant in the back with the car seat unsecured.
Hingham Police allege that the driver was suspected to have been under the influence of drugs and noticed injection marks on his arms. The driver alleged admitted that he had injected suboxone earlier that day. Officers also allegedly found prescription medication and a used hypodermic needle under the driver’s seat and in the man’s pockets.